The Pain Of Inconsistency

“…but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

(Hebrews 10:38b, KJV)

A while ago, I started going for morning runs.

And then stopped. And then started again.
And then stopped. And then started again.

Like every other exercise, the muscle groups involved in running would initially scream in agony, but gradually increase in capacity in order to carry out the said exercise with less pain. It would seem to you that exercising has become easier, but your muscles know better.

As I came back home one morning, I wondered why running wasn’t getting easier. The answer was obvious: I’d been inconsistent in it. In that “Eureka” moment, I came up with a little hypothesis on why inconsistent people were never going to become great at whatever it is they were involved in. I called it “The Pain Of Inconsistency” Theory 🤓.

A major way the human mind learns is through pain. From painful episodes, the human mind will by default sort activities into categories, and will ensure both subconsciously and consciously that activities that bring pain are avoided at all costs. The trained mind can of course overcome these barriers, and with time, will learn to find pleasure in these “painful” activities.

Any change in routine that is beneficial to the total health of man would almost always fall into the “pain” category. Being inconsistent in implementing these changes would expose the mind to pain at each false start, and would over time build a strong resistance to that activity. This positive feedback mechanism would feed a vicious cycle of more and more inconsistencies.

This, in addition to the fact that inconsistent people would never be able to devote enough time to become good at their craft, is what is at the root of the inconsistent character of many.

While my little hypothesis is yet to be proven (remember you saw it here first😉), one thing is certain. God does not like inconsistent people (Hebrews 10:38, Luke 9:62, James 1:6-8). This means you shouldn’t like inconsistency too. This means you shouldn’t be comfortable with inconsistencies in your life.

There are many resources that can help with improving in consistency, you may want to check those out if you need help in that regard. But in Luke 9:62, Jesus talks about not looking back after “laying hands on the plough”. Permit me to borrow this imagery.

A few points. Take a quick inventory of your life: are your hands on too many ploughs? Do you perhaps need to drop one or two so that you can be focused and consistent with the important ones.

Try to take measured and definite steps everyday with your plough. Study two hours a day? Write 30 minutes a day? Pray 30 minutes a day? Nothing more, nothing less. If by any reason you gain capacity to increase time spent efficiently on these ploughs, feel free to do so.

Finally, always focus on the reason for the ploughing (so yes, you should have a reason: written down if possible). A better relationship with Jesus, a healthier body, better grades at school, etc. Of course, the overall aim is to please God with our lives, but it helps to break things down. Once your focus is locked, no looking back!

I’ll be taking my advice seriously. If you’re having problems with consistency, you may want to take it seriously too 🙃.

6 thoughts on “The Pain Of Inconsistency

  1. Inconsistency robs us of better things in the long run. Bigger and stronger muscles, better scores, better relationship with God, better skills… The list is endless.
    The part you wrote, ‘God does not like inconsistent people’, I’ll write it out and stick it to my bedside. 😭
    Thank you John for this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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