Consistent and Faithful
Wednesday - June 16th
Scripture to Read Today: Matthew 25:14-30
The LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
My Dad taught me that as we seek to live our lives for Christ, being consistent is good, but being faithful is better. The dictionary defines "consistent" as "acting or done in the same way over time." Being consistent focuses on following the same steps or patterns you have before.
There is something to be said for a Christian life that has become consistent with the healthy habits of daily spiritual disciplines. It does not hurt you to read your Bible daily at the same time and in the same place. Great benefit can come from using the same prayer list regularly to pray for the needs of people in your life. Showing up regularly for weekend worship services is not a bad thing. Being consistent in your Christian life can be good.
But, being consistent is not enough. It is not the overarching goal of the Christian life. The dictionary defines "faithful" as "remaining loyal and steadfast." An element of being consistent is tucked into the foundation of the word "faithful." But being faithful goes a step farther than being consistent. Consistency is following the same pattern as before. Faithfulness gets to the heart of one's motivation for being consistent.
Faithfulness addresses something outside the consistent pattern itself. At the heart of being faithful is the word "loyal." When we are faithful, we are doing what we do consistently because it fulfills loyalty and steadfastness to our Lord. He becomes both the motivation for and measurement of faithfulness and consistency.
In Matthew chapter twenty-five, Jesus tells the story of an estate owner who leaves each of his three servants some money bags. They are to use or invest the bags of money wisely. When he returns, the estate owner expects to take the money back. When he returns, two invested what they had been given, and those two give the estate owner back the money he entrusted to them - plus interest they had earned.
One servant had simply buried the money while his boss was gone. He gave back the same amount of money he had originally been entrusted. The two who had invested the money were declared faithful because they knew their boss and fulfilled his expectations. The one who gained no interest on the sum he had been given is declared unfaithful by his boss and cast out of the household.
Through the parable of the servants and the bags of money entrusted to them, Jesus calls us to the faithfulness of the two rewarded servants. We are called to know our Lord well enough that we loyally and faithfully fulfill His expectations of us as we live our lives. Consistency merely says something about a habitual pattern. Faithfulness speaks of personal loyalty. As you live your life today, be faithful to your Savior - not just consistent in your Christian walk.
God promises that He will never forsake those who are faithful to Him (Psalm 37:28). Let's live consistently faithful lives that honor our God!
As my Dad taught me, being consistent is good, but being faithful is better!