Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

how to interpret inconsistency


If you are like me you constantly note what you consider to be inconsistencies between what people say and how they act or in what they say and do one time versus another. In general, we all tend to see such inconsistency as a fault, denoting an insincerity of beliefs or a deliberate attempt to mislead others. If we are terribly honest, most would probably admit to considerable inconsistency within their own lives and actions. I certainly would.

Even though we have this tendency to avoid or at least hide the appearance of inconsistency, I believe that inconsistencies can be a good thing. Such can be the sign of an on-going re-evaluation of beliefs and practices, often a subconscious one. Whenever we encounter inconsistencies in our own lives, these encounters should serve as a flag to our conscious mind, bringing our beliefs and norms into the bright light of re-evaluation. To the extent we use personal inconsistencies to open up a mental dialogue, challenging ourselves to grow and change in appropriate ways, inconsistencies are valuable, even essential. Perhaps, when we observe the inconsistencies in others, we need to give them the benefit of the doubt, assuming first that they are just in the painful, difficult process of growing, instead of dismissing them as insincere or devious.