I get asked a lot: How can I be more consistent in my walk?
The answer is: love more. And If that answer sounds corny to you, then you don’t understand love very well, so let’s take a look.
A lot of people rely on emotion to power their walk, and that’s why they utterly lack consistency. This is because emotions don’t last, they burn off. Think about it, take any emotion you have right now, now keep feeling that for the next 2 or three days. Emotions just don’t work that way, they morph and shift and ooze from one thing to another.
Take guilt for example. Many people use the emotion of guilt, like a compass to guide them. If something makes them feel more guilty it must be bad, if it makes them feel less guilty, it must be good. Others use emotions like fear or shame in the same way. Not only will none of these things give you any decent wisdom, they won’t help you to be consistent at all.
Emotions tire us, they exhaust us, when you’re done feeling guilty you don’t want to please God, you resent God for all these negative emotions you think He’s putting you through. But love never tires. It never needs rest. It gives us energy and drive. Love motivates us to know God’s true heart, not to use our own deeply confused, tangled, and messed up emotions as a source of guidance.
As it turns out, all the above is true for positive emotions as well, they likewise tend to cloud the truth instead of point to it, and they burn off just as fast. But there’s an infinite supply of true love from God. Yes, we need to receive more and more love from God to put this love in motion, but there’s always more love available. It never runs out.
A lot of people rely on a sense of obligation to try and be consistent, and I don’t know about you, but there’s something about an obligation that inspires me to do the bare minimum. You’re obliged to pay taxes, but do you ever find yourself giving them an extra coupla bucks, just to say thanks for doing a great job, and here’s a nice tip for ya? Nope. We resent having to fulfill obligations, and we’re always looking for a way out of them.
But love motivates us unlike anything else on the planet. Think about it like this: in the action movie, when the hero realizes that his family has been kidnapped, you KNOW he is gonna do whatever it takes to get his family back. This isn’t something he’s obligated to do, this is something he’s motivated to do, even if he has to fight his way through a hundred and twelve armed assassins to get there.
Love is fierce, and woe to anyone foolish enough to try and get between me and the one I love.
In addition to emotions, and obligations, we try religion to get us to that place of consistency. Religion, with it’s rules and rituals gives us a structure that we feel we sorely need. But in the end, the rituals can often take the place of an actual relationship with God, and the rules take the place of Godly wisdom.
God wants you thinking outside of these boxes. His love sets us free. The Bible says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17). The odd truth is that people love structure, and they’re afraid of freedom. But just as God’s love for us sets us free, our love for God binds us to Him, finding a joy in serving Him that has no equal.
Love never fails. We may stumble and fumble and make a mess of things, but because we love Him back, we will get where we’re going. It may be messy, but we’ll get there. And because God never fails in His love for us, He never gives up on us. Receive love and rely on it, when all else fails, love comes shining through.
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