Have you ever been enjoying a movie or T.V. show, perfectly enthralled in the moment? Your mind has been transported to a distant fantasy land, or perhaps you are helping the detectives to solve some sort of incredible mystery. Then an image dances across your screen, even for just a brief moment, and suddenly you are woken from your daze. Something is just kind of, off. You may have just witnessed a continuity error.
These lapses in consistency occur often. In one shot an actor is eating blueberry pie, then in the very next shot, the pie is now apple. Or perhaps you see your favorite actors driving in a white car, but in the next wide frame shot the car has changed not only colors but also brands.
Most normal people do not get overly frustrated with continuity errors, but I tend to be highly observant, and I certainly am not normal.
It is hard to believe that any continuity errors would slip past editors in post-production given how many people there are closely examining the film. But there are always a few that inevitably slip past. Perhaps the editors allow them through just to annoy folks like myself?
Anyway, back on topic.
I have come to think that the main reason why continuity errors frustrate me so much is that consistency is so vitally important. Not only do we expect consistency, in many cases we actually desperately need it.
Now, if consistency is important in films, it is infinitely more important in our real daily lives.
I am sure that I am not the only one who has ever acted inconsistently with who I hope to really be. Even Paul, the Apostle, struggled with staying consistent. In Romans 7:15 Paul says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” If there were continuity errors in Paul’s life that he wrestled with, there certainly are some in our lives as well.
But, thankfully, the story does not end there. Later, in the next chapter Paul explain that we who believe in Jesus have been given the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. God not only puts up with our continuity errors, but He also, more importantly, changes us from the inside so that there will be fewer and fewer errors, and instead, more consistency.
In another New Testament book that Paul wrote, he says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God makes us better than we once were.
The incredible work of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, is the awesome process of making us more and more like Jesus each and every day. (Romans 8:29, Hebrews 10:10, 2 Peter 3:18, Philippians 1:6) As we grow more and more like Jesus the continuity errors in us start to fade away. God does amazing work in us.
But that does not absolve us of any responsibility in the process. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us, “do not quench the Holy Spirit.” Instead, we ought to be actively allowing God to work in and through us on a daily basis.
Each day when we wake up we need to actively choose to follow Jesus, and we need to do this on a consistent basis.
I dislike continuity errors in movies. I hate continuity errors in my life, and I hope you hate them in your life too.
God, make us more consistent in our love, obedience, and commitment to you.