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Archive for September 21st, 2017

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Firmness of character.
Harmony of practice.

Those are the two most common definitions of the word, consistency that I found while looking through numerous dictionaries.

The word can refer to a practice (harmony of practise), such as how my father-in-law (and another family member in my house) sets the table for his breakfast … at night, before going to bed. People can also have physical rituals that they become obsessive about completing. This can essentially imprison such individuals in their own behaviour.

It can also refer to the regular and predictable character traits in a person’s everyday life, such as my friend who always greets me with a smile and warm welcome (even when I am late, haven’t returned her emails, or missed her birthday). As well, individuals may be consistent in that they are mean, lie or take advantage of others.

If I were to be totally honest, to me, the word consistent is synonymous with boring.

I, typically, love variety, flexibility and the opportunity to change things up … often.

Whenever I have things that I do regularly (such as getting ready for bed, cleaning the house, shopping at the grocery store), I, intentionally, do not do those tasks the same way, every time. I am so resistant to being consistent in my practice that I actually kind of fear that I will get myself ‘locked in’ to doing things only one way.

Yet, whenever I go to a good funeral (and we all know what those are like), the things that catch my ear are the characteristics and practices of the deceased that were … you guessed it … consistent.

The mom or dad who would always stop what they were doing when someone walked in the room.

The parent who read their Bible every morning.

The grandparent who came to every school, sport or arts event.

The neighbour who always made a meal for others when there was a crises, death or birth in the household.

These consistent behaviours and traits are not necessarily what can earn one the most money, fame or worldly forms of success. A life lived without these behaviours and traits (and others), though, can be quite unsuccessful in terms of those who share life with us in our homes, workplaces and communities.

Consistency is not about boring regularity, but persistent steadfastness that is focused on making life, and our world better for others, through the stability that our behaviours and character traits produce.

We give thanks to God always for all of you,
constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
remembering before our God and Father
your work of faith and labor of love
and steadfastness (consistent practice) of hope
in our Lord Jesus
Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

 

 

 

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