The side-effects of inconsistency

Twenty-two years ago, I found myself in front of a griddle on a Monday night.  My task for the next four was to make pancakes.  Back then, McDonalds actually made their pancakes.  Today, the pancakes you order are frozen and microwaved upon your request.  It has become very easy for those employees.

On Monday nights in 1994, we had all-you-can-eat pancakes from 5-8pm.  Football teams and wrestling teams would come in after practice.  Families would settle in for “breakfast for dinner”.  Our customers varied greatly.

One thing was consistent.  I had to make as many pancakes as I could while I maintaining certain food quality standards.  My success was determined by my consistency.

Why does making pancakes matter?  As a young adult, I learned valuable lessons about being consistent as often as I could.  I learned that living with consistent values and ethics will not go unnoticed.  I learned that consistently running to the cross of Jesus will not go unnoticed either.

From there, I began to think about the mess our country is in.  I try very hard not to speak about politics, but as followers of Jesus we have a responsibility to pray for the spiritual condition of our country.  We need to pray that God’s victory will be evident.

From there, I thought about the values that are being redefined in our country.  I, then, thought about the tenth amendment.  The first line reads, “The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the understanding of the people at the time the Constitution was adopted, that powers not granted to the United States were reserved to the States or to the people.”[1]

I found the path I took to be quite interesting.  In the past two years, our country has fought two very large battles.  The first battle is same-sex marriage.  The second battle is the legalization of marijuana.  The consistency of our government has been lacking in these two battles.

Both battles had outcries, picketing and riots from the general public on either side of the issue.  Individual states voted and adopted laws on both battles because the tenth amendment gives them this right.

Prior to these battles, same-sex marriage and marijuana were both against federal law.  Why did the federal government choose to overturn adopted laws on marriage that were consistent with federal law, but choose not to overturn adopted laws about marijuana that violate federal law?

Inconsistency has horrible side-effects, but does not begin or end with the federal government.  The federal government operates with men and women who have been shaped by other men and women.

Consistency begins with families sitting around a dinner table eating a meal together.  Values and ethics are shaped in our dining rooms.  If we remove the consistency of one main dining room from our family, the consistency of everything can also be removed.

Today, take a moment to consider the areas of your life that do not have consistent values and ethics.  Take a second moment to consider the side-effects of your inconsistencies.  Take a third moment to consider who is being shaped by the side-effects?

What are you going to do about it?