by Tammy Phillips
June 22, 2020
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:9 NASB
I wished I had kept up with how many hours our sons spent at ball practice or in the training room, sharpening their skills. Our boys have invested untold hours of their lives. Malcom Gladwell, in his book, the Outliers: The Story of Success, repeatedly speaks of the “10,000 Hour Rule.” He claims that the key to being a successful, elite athlete is to correctly practice the skill for approximately, 10, 000 hours. We have all heard, “practice makes perfect.” Practice means to perform repeatedly or habitually. Life is full of failures and missed opportunities. Baseball is a game of failure. Vince Lombardi said: “Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.” The only way to be more successful at ball, life, or just about anything is to practice.
- Practice programs how-to do-it the right way.
- Practice increases the chances of an automatic response.
- Practice helps us become better at what we are doing.
- Practice helps us become experts.
- Practice helps keep us in shape.
- Practice improves weakness.
- Practice strengthens.
- Practice prepares.
- Practice develops.
- Practice teaches.
If a player does not practice ball, he will not improve nor succeed. If we do not practice the precepts of God, we will miss out on the blessings of God. Also, we will not transform into who we are meant to be, the image of Christ to others.
As Christians, we are to imitate Christ. We are instructed to practice:
- Righteousness at all times (Psalm 106:3 NASB)
- Justice and righteousness (Ezra 45:9 NASB)
- Kindness and compassion each to his brother (Zechariah 7:9 NASB)
- Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22 NKJV)
- Gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:23 NKJV)
- Forgiveness (Matthew 18:22)
I enCOURAGE you to practice following in the very footsteps of Jesus. Only do what the Father does and only say what the Father says (John 5:19). Practice will prepare you for the game of life. Practice will perfect you. Practicing God’s word transforms you into the image of Christ, Perfection.
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. [1 John 3:10 NASB]