Be Consistent (2 Cor 10:6-11)

For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.” (2 Corinthians 10:10–11, KJV)

My wife and I try to take a date day at least once per week. We may go someplace to do some shopping or fishing. On these date days we also will go to a restaurant and have lunch together. One of the restaurants we have frequented has one of the best cheeseburgers in town. The quality and service in this restaurant is always consistently good. It does not matter which day we go there the food is consistent. Consistency is important.

Unfortunately, we have had the opposite experience with some restaurants. One day, we did not eat at the normal place so we went to a restaurant chain. We liked that chain in all the places we visited. However, we went to one and both the service and food quality was disappointing. It was so much so that we decided that we would never go back to that restaurant again. Moreover, this one bad experience has led us to question all this chain’s restaurants. Now, the problem was their inconsistency.

Paul in this section of his letter to the Corinthians has been presenting a case of defense against some false teachers who were questioning his ministry. The were likely some legalists who contended against Paul’s message of free grace. In these verses he presents principles by which the church could authenticate Paul’s apostolic authority. He indicated that he belonged to Christ (v7). He further stated that he ministered to edify, that is build up, rather than destroying the church (v9).

Paul then countered one the arguments of his detractors (v10-11). The false teachers accused Paul of functioning differently when he was away versus when he was present with the church. Yet Paul was never inconsistent. He was always the same. He indicated that what he said in his letters was always consistent with what he did in their presence.

Consistency in our Christian walk is vital to our service for the Lord. The phrase “We must walk the talk” is one that must be written in our hearts. The reason is that, as believers, we are always under public display. We never know who might see us in action regardless of where we might be. I remember one time that I was on vacation with my family. We flew to San Antonio from Savannah Georgia. I never anticipated seeing anyone that I knew, other than my family, while on vacation. Yet one morning I went down to the dining area for breakfast and ran into two couples who were part of the Gideons International in Savannah. They were driving to the International Convention and broke down in San Antonio.

The point I am making is that we never know who we will run into anywhere in the world and our testimony must be consistent regardless of where we are. The consistency of our Christian walk is vital for it is our platform for preaching the gospel message. Inconsistency in our Christian walk will undermine the credibility of our message.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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