I hate to drag up long forgotten horrible memories, but close your eyes and think about your high school algebra class.
A + B = C
If A is potential and C is proficiency…
Potential + B = Proficiency
What is B? Drum roll………..
I know I know, that seems like such a boring answer. I mean, who really likes to practice? Practice seems so monotonous and hard.
I love to play golf, BUT I HATE TO PRACTICE! I have played for years and at times have posted some pretty good scores. I have played with some really great golfers, some who were colligate players and some who used to play on Tour. I learned some really great tips and nuances of the golf swing, BUT, you know what? None of that ever did me as much good as it could have, because…I DIDN’T PRACTICE!!
Knowing how to do something and being able to execute flawlessly are two very different things.
There are many tests that help you discover what your talents and personality traits are. These simply identify areas that God put a little extra helping of potential in, that if developed, would make you better than average, and if practiced enough, would turn heads!
I am sure that all of you agree that one can never be proficient at any activity by reading or thinking about it. You have to jump in the water if you are going to learn how to swim, and if you want to be a great swimmer, you are going to have to practice swimming…a lot!
It is in this spirit of PRACTICING that I share this scripture with you.
Allow me to set this verse up.
The writer of Hebrews had just finished telling the Hebrews that Jesus, even though he was the Son of God, learned obedience through his sufferings. The writer then tells them in verse eleven that he has so much more to teach them about this but he can’t because they are spiritually dull and do not listen. They should be teaching others by now but they are still infants who are on spiritual milk rather than solid food. The writer then says that solid food is for the mature and the only way to become mature is through constant use and training.
Sounds a lot like practice to me!
The writer was telling the Hebrews that they were not practicing the basic things about God’s word.
So what are the basic things of God’s word? I’ll give you just two.
- Loving your neighbor. Knowing that you should love your neighbor and loving your neighbor are not the same. How do we get good at loving our neighbors? By practicing loving our neighbors. The more we do it, the better we get at it, the better we get at it, the more God will teach us, the more God teaches us, the more abundant our lives become! Remember, the Hebrews were told that there was so much more for them to learn, but they were not privy to it because they were not practicing what they already knew.
Ouch! That verse always convicts me. I can do better. I need more practice!
2. Tell your story. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 talks about us being reconciled to God Through Jesus Christ and that we have been given this ministry of reconciliation. It says God has committed to us this message of reconciliation. Since we have been reconciled we are to be Christ’s ambassadors. In other words, we are commissioned to tell people our story of how God reconciled us back to him through Jesus Christ.
So how do we get good at telling our story? PRACTICE. Practice by role playing. Tell your story to a friend, spouse, or other family members then have them do the same. And when God gives you the opportunity, you will “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
I believe that followers of Christ have the POTENTIAL to be PROFICIENT at following Christ, effective and powerful in expanding God’s Kingdom. BUT not without PRACTICE.
I know there is always room for improvement in our walk with Christ, but are there areas of your walk with Christ that need more practice than others?
Giving, serving, listening, praying, fasting, sowing seeds, loving?
Keep fighting the good fight!
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