The Gift of Consistency

consistency_quoteBetween now and Christmas, we’ll use this space to think about some of the non-tangible gifts we can give our families.

“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Slow and steady wins the race. The hare is more fun to watch, but the tortoise brings home the prize. Real progress in most important areas of life is made incrementally through the slow and steady work of consistency.

If you want to get healthier, there’s not an instant fix. Improvement requires healthy choices repeated consistently over time. If you want to learn a language, there’s no way to cram it in your brain overnight. It takes learning and repetition over the long haul. If you want to develop a skill, practice makes perfect. One study suggests that ten thousand hours of practice is the likely requirement for true mastery of most subjects.

Consistency is one of the best gifts you can give yourself or your family. Children thrive in homes with consistent discipline; they learn what to expect and how you will respond. Your friends appreciate it when you are a consistent person.

Very little of value develops sporadically and spontaneously. Christian spiritual formation doesn’t happen automatically after years of sporadic church attendance. It happens when a person makes a habit of intentionally following Jesus.

being-consistentNietzsche said, “there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.” Paul said, “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58).