Spiritual Consistency is Worth the Cost
(Photo: by Monkey Business Images via Vivozoom )
Later that day, my auto mechanic gave a simple diagnosis: I needed a new battery.
Now, I could have said: “Hey, you know, a car starting every other day isn’t so bad. It sure beats walking. I guess I don’t need a battery.”
Guess again. I bought a battery—a big one. If my vehicle runs inconsistently, it’s of little value to me. At the same time, keeping the car running reliably comes down to one thing: it costs me.
The same is true of our spiritual lives.
When Spiritual Consistency Lacks
Confessing we are Christians, but living without spiritual consistency, is like a car that starts every other day. What good is that?
The Bible asks the same question of us:
“What good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”—James 2:15-17
In terms of practical benefit in this life, a “dead” faith is one that is “useless” and “worthless” (James 1:20, 26). We may never say it, but often we live with the credo: “I’ll trust Jesus for my eternal life, but my daily life is my business.” The Bible says that such a faith, while perhaps a true one, is “useless” and “worthless” (James 1:20,26).
- Believing the truth will save us from hell, believing the truth won’t save us from the pain of choosing to disobey (Romans 6:15-16).
- The world tolerates a non-Christian who lives immorally. In fact, our culture applauds it. But when a priest, or a pastor, or any Evangelical Christian (their new favorite target), fails to live with spiritual consistency, the world has a problem. Jesus did too.
- Jesus saved His most scathing rebukes not for prostitutes and thieves, but for the religious leaders who held up a standard they failed to follow.
The Benefit of Spiritual Consistency
On the other hand, spiritual consistency has a HUGE benefit. When we demonstrate our faith in good works, the world takes notice and God is glorified:
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” —Matthew 5:16
Ironic, isn’t it? Good works have nothing to do with becoming a Christian, but good works have everything to do with living like one. God has even prepared in advance good works for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).
What Spiritual Consistency Costs Us
It is expected of us when we say, “I’m a Christian,” that we model it consistently before others.
But spiritual consistency costs. In regard to my car, it cost me a battery. In regard to our faith, the costs are pricier:
- Spiritual consistency doesn’t mean we’re perfect, but it does mean we’re honest about it. It costs us our pride as we confess our sins to God and to one another (1 John 1:9; James 5:16).
- It costs us some sleep, as we get up perhaps 30 minutes earlier to make our relationship with God our priority each day (Proverbs 8:34-35; Mark 1:35).
- Spiritual consistency costs us the daily sacrificing of our own wills and selfish desires (Romans 6:13, 16, 19; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Hebrews 13:15).
- It takes living the truth in daily, diligent, and faithful obedience (Ephesians 4:1; 1 Peter 2:11).
These costs are huge investments, to be sure. But spiritual consistency is worth the cost.
Daily faith does us no good just sitting in the driveway. It must run.
Question: What other “costs” do you spend for the sake of spiritual consistency