Instinctively, we are drawn to what is considered socially normative. It is part of our anthropological intuition, creating in us a sense of belonging — a sense of security. So it doesn’t matter whether our cultural context is religious or irreligious, politically left or right, urban or rural – we are drawn into conformity with the subset culture we have chosen to identify . . . and we mistakenly assume that our personal consistency is somehow measured against our compliance with the prevailing ethos of that subset culture.
But well-behaved conformity to cognitively dissonant darkness can only create the illusion of being consistently in the light. As such conformity is, more often than not, nothing more than borrowed light filtered and opaque, a cultural distortion of light. In this way, cultural conformity masquerades as being virtuously consistent . . . but being consistently wrong is the likeliest outcome within such a paradigm.
Internally, when the head and the heart aren’t actively going a few rounds in the ring, they have taken to their corners under an uneasy cease fire, awaiting the next skirmish. This is where the actual battle for consistence takes place – where facts and feelings meet incongruently, vying for supremacy. And under the prevailing influence of modernity, we tend to assume that the cognitive will be far more reliably consistent than the loose cannon of the emotive – but once again this is an illusion . . . as if it were possible for the content of our thinking to be devoid of emotion.
Philosophically, the Christian faith embraces the concept that there are transcendent principles, by design, at work in the universe — therefore, having consistency in our life requires that we align ourselves with those principles. But here’s the thing, those principles were never meant to be understood in an intellectual vacuum apart from a relationship with God – that in fact it is our relationship with God that unlocks the continuity that exists between the principles, and brings proportion to their meaning.
So in regards to our desire to find consistency in both thought and deed, we must be careful to hold in abeyance the external and internal forms of predisposed conformity, which we’re inclined to blindly follow. Instead, choosing to hold every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), so that we might walk in the light as he is in the light (1 John 1:7), seeking first his kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Ever aware that it is the Holy Spirit at work in what we think, what we do, and what we desire, conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
For it is in the worship of God where our intellect and emotion are brought into full harmony – as our minds begin to ponder the greatness of God present in the narrative of his word, our hearts can’t help but respond, as we are wooed by his ponderous love . . . so in the abandon that such love inspires we are overcome. This is a recalibration, ever pulling us back into balance, into the arms of the true lover of our souls – so that in His immutable presence we might find some measure of true consistency.
God is ever transforming us — ever making water into wine . . .