Always the same.

Have you ever met a person who changed their behavior based on circumstance or people they are with? How they live on Friday night is drastically different than how they live on Sunday morning. How they behave around the office is in contrast with how they behave with their buddies.

The simple word for that is duplicity, or perhaps better yet, hypocrisy. There are contrasting behaviors coming from the same individual, they are not constant, never the same.

AW Tozer once talked about the preacher who lived a different life in the pulpit than everywhere else. He said:

I am afraid of the pastor that is another man when he enters the pulpit from what he was before. Reverend, you should never think a thought or do a deed or be caught in any situation that you couldn’t carry into the pulpit with you without embarrassment. You should never have to be a different man or get a new voice and a new sense of solemnity when you enter the pulpit. You should be able to enter the pulpit with the same spirit and the same sense of reverence that you had just before when you were talking to someone about the common affairs of life.*

Are you the same person despite the time of day, the people you’re with, the circumstances you face?

Paul stated to those in Thessalonica: “You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe …” (1 Thessalonians 2:10). There was a consistency in Paul’s behavior. He was the same person with the same message with the same intensity everywhere he went. Are you?

As Tozer prayed: “Lord, help me to be a man of impeccable integrity. Give me the grace to be the same man, whether in the pulpit, in a board meeting, caught in rush hour traffic, or at dinner with my wife. Amen.”


* From AW Tozer’s book: Worship: The Missing Jewel of the Evangelical Church.

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