“Mediocrity is the signature of chronic inconsistency” writes Jim Collins in his latest book, “Great by Choice”. This should serve as a stinging rebuke to most of us as we consider our walk with Jesus. The follow through on our devotion to Him is pathetic, as evidenced by the condition of the world around us. We long to make an impact for Christ, but we sputter and hesitate, stuck in an endless loop of starting and stopping. New Year’s resolutions to read our Bible and pray every day are forgotten by February, and we disengage our commitment to the poor as soon as we hit a rough financial patch. The problem is we lack the disciplined consistency to truly follow Jesus.
Have you ever been following someone in a car because you didn’t know the way? You were diligently keeping your eyes focused on the other person’s tail lights so you didn’t lose them. There was no break in your concentration. You didn’t glance at them every now and then while spending most of your time looking around at the scenery. Instead, you consistently focused your eyes on the car in front of you. This is how you were assured of reaching your destination. Why then do we think we’ll be able to follow Christ when we allow ourselves to be constantly distracted by the temptations in our world?
It is dumbfounding that in every other area of life we know we have to plan in order to achieve something. If we want a better job, we have to work hard to develop the skills that will get us there. We’ll go to school, find mentors, and study all we can to better ourselves. If we want to retire financially well off, we calculate the money we’ll need to save each month in order to reach some magic number that will allow us to feel secure. When we go on vacation, we map out the route, make lists of what to pack and organize all our travel documents. Everything we do requires a plan to get it done. Yet when it comes to following Jesus we seem to think it will just happen magically. Few of us plan how we will develop our relationship with Him. We merely claim to follow Him and when we think about it, try and do the things that will please Him.
There can be no consistency without a plan. You must know where you are going, how you are going to get there, and then execute those steps every day. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a mediocre Christian. In fact I submit it is impossible to be a mediocre follower of Christ. As I illustrated above, you can’t follow someone inconsistently. You either are focused on their tracks or you are wandering aimlessly.
Make a plan for how you will purposefully follow Jesus over the next 30 days. What will you do each day to build your relationship with Him? This could involve reading the Bible, spending time in prayer for others or simply reflecting on Him, donating your time to spend with those in need, or giving some money to causes that minister to others in the name of Jesus. There’s no right or wrong formula here; just do the things God commanded you to do. The key is we must do them consistently. We can grow closer to Christ by making small conscious efforts to do so every day. Consistency is the key. Don’t let yourself settle for mediocrity. Take action today.
What areas of your life have been inconsistent in your pursuit of Christ? What can you start doing today to become more disciplined and consistent? You can share your thoughts with others by leaving a comment below.