I work in a commercial data center, and one of the key things that we hear about is consistency. Just as we want our systems and services to be “Always On” for our customers (one of the major selling points of data centers with multiple levels of redundancy and security), we want our team to be always on time, always efficient and effective, always available, etc.
Consistency, is about being constant, being solidly founded, being predictable, which all boils down to being reliable.
When things are consistent and reliable, there is a ready amount of evidence proving that they are trustworthy.
My morning verse today is from Paul’s second letter to Timothy, and the word that caught my attention was “constantly” — ἀδιάλειπτος in the Greek, meaning “unintermitted, unceasing, continual“:
Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
2 Timothy 1:3 NLT
The Life Application Study Bible has this note to consider about this verse:
Paul constantly prayed for Timothy, his friend, his fellow traveler, his son in the faith, and a strong leader in the Christian church. Although the two men were separated from each other, their prayers provided a source of mutual encouragement. We too should pray consistently for others, especially for those who do God’s work.
Constantly and consistently — these are markers of Paul’s Christian character. And isn’t whatever is constant and consistent in someone’s behavior the evidence of their underlying character?
Don’t we expect the one who has lied to us in the past to lie to us again, because we have time after time, seen the evidence of their character being a liar?
Don’t we expect those who are always late to work, or those who are regularly absent, or who show up early but only put in a half effort, to probably act the very same way today because it has become a defining component of who they are — demonstrating and defining their “character” like a role in the movie being played out in our minds every day?
If your friends and coworkers were looking to “cast your part” in a movie about their lives — what would the basis of your “character” be?
Christian, would it look and sound and speak and act in any resemblance to Christ who you claim is in you? Or would it resemble a religious hypocrite or a wayward sinner?
I’m not talking about whether or not you have occasional little shifts towards the light or towards the darkness — but what is the overall, defining truth about what is in control over and guiding your life as a whole?
Is it your own selfish, sinful nature — or is it the Lord?
What fruit is evident on your tree sho that others around you, when in their time of need might know whether you are constant, consistent, and trustworthy — or are not?
Do we see that our consistency is not some obligatory requirement in order to obtain credit for ourselves — but it is an opportunity to provide help for others in their storm, to help bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters, to lift up the name of Jesus Christ in spirit and truth (not in false claims, dead religious practice, and fruitless and self- righteous hypocrisy!
And isn’t the Lord steady and trustworthy?
And aren’t we made in His image?
And doesn’t Christ live in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit?
Is the Lord God Almighty playing the starring role in your character today — or are you (as the intended understudy) stepping onto the stage to demand control and any applause for yourself?
Be honest in your answer to yourself, friend, because He already knows the truth — do you?
Lord, you are the one who can make us new. You are the one who can chesnee or very nature and being to resemble a new creation in your image. Rid us of our old selves and come live in and through us. Teach us and lead us to be consistently and constantly like you. Help us to be Christ to a dying world. Amen.