Practice Makes Perfect
Baby goats are quite funny to watch. They are so tiny and rambunctious. They hop along and run into each other like a bunch of uncoordinated children. They have a favorite game, too–“king of the mountain”—and they are terrible at it! They comically knock one another off of high places, tumbling around and rolling off, trying to practice their dominance and refine their climbing abilities. Their amusing and playful behavior, however, is actually something God has placed within them. They are learning vital skills as they play. Their practice of these skills will eventually prepare them for their survival in the wild.
We as human beings understand the nature of this concept. We, too, need certain skills for survival, just like the baby goats. As we practice these skills, we may fumble around to begin with, but eventually the practicing will lead to a perfecting of the skill…or at the very least some level of mastery. We even have an expression for this process: “Practice makes perfect.” We comprehend that the more we practice something, the better we will get at it.
But this idea does not just apply to the natural; it applies to the spiritual as well. Practice makes perfect…the more we attempt something spiritually—taking instruction, making corrections, and trying it again and again—the more effective we will become at it. For example, the apostle Paul says in Romans 12: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” In other words, hospitality is one of those skills to be practiced, exercised, and done again and again until it becomes perfected and habitual.
But that is not the only one; we have been given all kinds of spiritual gifts (see Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12) and spiritual fruit (see Galatians 5) that we must exercise as we walk in the Spirit. And there are behaviors we are to put into practice (Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3). But we must be careful… Not practicing our spiritual skills can have multiple negative effects—spiritual unpreparedness, stagnancy, immaturity…
The writer of Hebrews says: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:11-14
Trained themselves by constant use—aka practiced and exercised!
Today, let’s do a little research. Let’s find out in Scripture exactly what spiritual gifts, fruits, and behaviors we are to practice and then let’s ask the Father to help us exercise them.
FBC Aztec Member