Practice Makes Perfect

July 29 – You’ve Got To Start Somewhere

3:211 – You’ve Got To Start Somewhere

#faithbites #faithjourney start

Setting

I did a thing and got a 3D printer. I’ve been #gazelling for a while and saving my money. So I did it. Let me tell you how frustrated I’ve been. Putting it together was a pain. (I’m not mechanically inclined). Getting my first print to work (and it’s still not done). So frustrating. I’m lucky to have a good friend helping me along the way. I told him I’m sorry I’m making stupid mistakes. He said, “You are learning” and “practice”. It’s hard for me to start from ground zero. I’m used to someone that people come to to fix their problems. Not knowing anything is hard. 

We aren’t experts in a lot of things. We all have to start somewhere. From home repair to cooking to hobbies to even our faith, we are all novices at something. The key is not to give up. 

If you don’t know something about your faith, that doesn’t make you stupid or moronic. It means you are learning. Some of us start our #faithjourney as infants, others, much later in life. But we all started on the same road needing help, guidance, and patience. You will get there!

Scripture
  • Philippians 4:9 – What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
  • Romans 12:13 – When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
  • 2 Peter 1:5-10 – In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
    8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
    10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
Reflection

Practice makes perfect. We all start at ground zero. Practice can mean a couple of things that are related. One is to do something and one is to do something to get better. Both are relevant in our faith. Whether it is generosity, hospitality, love, kindness, forgiveness, or service, we all start out pretty bad at it. We need to take the time to learn, grow, and get better. In the 2 Peter passage, we see a growing of faith overtime and practice: faith to moral excellence, moral excellence to knowledge, knowledge to self-control, self-control to patient endurance, patient endurance to godliness, godliness to brotherly affection, and finally brotherly affection to unconditional love. 

We start with understanding our faith, then ourselves, then how we interact with others, how we relate to God, and finally how we love all like God. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty early on that list. I’m not at ground zero, but far from Godliness. 

We need to learn to be patient with ourselves. We aren’t going to know how to adjust our understanding of God, just like I can’t separate my x from y from z-axis controls to level my printing bed. I’m getting there with help, patience, and practice. 

The most important thing to remember is that when we practice, we will mess up. Heck, I ruined two prints before I got a third that was ok. (And yes, when building the printer there were more than a few colorful words). But I got something to work and built on it. We have Christ to build on. When we mess up, he will forgive us. The Holy Spirit will help us find the words and the faith to keep on moving. 

Here’s to practice!

Challenge

Is there something that you aren’t good at? Are you worried that you will look stupid or fail? You may fail but if you are learning and growing, you aren’t stupid. You don’t get to be master without trial and error. Thankfully when we error, we have a loving Father and redeeming Savior. Just don’t give up. Keep on going. 

Prayer

Father God, thank you for giving us so many skills and abilities. You have created us all different and that can lead to frustration when we aren’t immediately good at something. You remind us in your word, over and over, that practice makes perfect. Help us practice, fail gracefully, recover, and improve. We give you all the honor and glory. Thank you, Lord. In your name, we pray, Amen.

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