She knew the rules, followed the rules and then still got in trouble … with me.
Her senior year my husband and I had lifted our youngest daughter’s curfew. In a few short months when she left for college, we would have no idea where she was going or what she was doing. It made complete sense to me to give her that kind of freedom whiled she lived at home so we could work through any kinks she might have with making wise choices.
My daughter wasn’t the one who had the problem with the lack of curfew. It was me.
When given the opportunity to drive to the beach for the day with her friends, she had made it clear that she would be home very late. Since we would not allow her to get a hotel room with all her friends, they were going to stay on the beach as long as possible before they drove home.
When I woke up late in the night and saw her car still not in the drive, I flipped. I immediately called her. Where are you?
If you haven’t already discovered, let me spare you the pain. Don’t argue with your teen in the middle of the night. It’s just not worth it. Besides, like me, you might lose because they are used to thinking clearly in the middle of the night! I am not!
The next day, my girl who has always seemed more mature than her years, pointed out to me: you are inconsistent. You say one thing, but your actions display something different. I had given her freedom, yet when she exercised this freedom in a way that made me nervous, I got upset.
Consistency. I lacked consistency.
Jesus on the other hand does not.
How many times have you heard this verse: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.” ? Taken from Hebrews 13:8, I can’t imagine how many times I have heard it preached, on a plaque or in a card. Yet, every time, it stands alone. A powerful verse, it certainly contains enough truth to stand alone. Yet as I read it in the context of the entire chapter of Hebrews, a challenge leapt off the page.
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:7-8
There seems to be a natural progression here. To shake it up a bit, try reading the verse backwards:
“Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.”
I see a challenge here for us.
Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. When we focus our lives on His life, we become people whose entire lives are impacted and changed. We will not be the same when we follow the One who is! When we begin to speak His word, it changes us and we become models to others of the way to live and how to walk by faith.
Through this process of speaking God’s word and having our lives changed to become like His life, then we too can become the same. This is how we become consistent in our daily walks with Christ. Filling our minds and hearts with His word creates uniformity in our mind and heart on how to love and treat others and how to honor God. This consistency is the fruit of the Spirit spoken of in Galatians 5.
As my girl began to point out my inconsistencies, I could see that the mom I wanted to be, the one who gave freedom and opportunity to mature and the mom I sometimes was weren’t the same. She challenged me to speak and then, in faith, walk out what I had said.
May we do the same in other areas of our lives. Become the people of God who walk in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, through the power of the Holy Spirit who works in us! Then, like the leaders spoken of in Hebrews 13 7, we can lead our kids to become people of the fruit of the Spirit and consistent as well.