I am inconsistent.
Sometimes I do really well. Sometimes I don’t.
For example, this blog. I intend to write content every week. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. For several weeks. In a row. To the point I’m a bit embarrassed to start again.
But this isn’t about writing. In every part of my life I’m inconsistent. Sometimes I’m really present for those I care about. Sometimes I’m distracted and oblivious. Sometimes I do the things that help me feel close to God. Sometimes I don’t.
And sometimes, I just get addicted to saying “sometimes.”
I wonder if inconsistency is just part of the frailty of being human. According to Genesis, we’re equal parts eternal breath of God and humble dust of the earth. Maybe this is the dust part.
And here’s something curious I’ve noticed about being inconsistent – it means being consistently tempted to judge.
When I’m doing well, I am quite confident I’m a fantastic human being. But I’m not so sure about everyone else. When I’m not doing well, it’s the reverse – I feel like a failure while everyone else seems flawless in comparison.
Arrogance and insecurity seem opposite, but I’ve found them again and again to be seat-mates riding in my heart. They may take turns driving, but they’ve conspired together.
And what is the conspiracy? To convince me that my perception of my performance equals God’s perception of my worth. That’s the battle within and once it’s lost it matters little whether arrogance or insecurity pops up first. The other one will be along shortly. Because I’m inconsistent, the consistent temptation is to equate performance with worth.
The Bible’s singular response is this – God is love. There are many words used to describe God but only this one to define Him. He is love. Love is not a trait that he possesses – sometimes more, sometimes less – it is his essence. There is a heartbeat of eternity, and it pulses “You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.”
Our worth isn’t like a stock that rises and falls according to last quarter’s performance analysis. No, it is fixed, determined solely by the one who loves underperformers and overacheivers alike. You could say that God is like a Father who has two sons. One, motivated by insecurity, worked furiously for approval and the other, in arrogant defiance, took his inheritance and ran. But of course, Jesus has said that.
Perhaps the most powerful story ever told, the point still moves me – I am inconsistent. God is love.