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Practice Makes Perfect
The Olympics are upon us and we’ve been watching amazing athletes from around the world compete at various sporting events. One of my favorite Olympic events to watch is gymnastics. The things these gymnasts can do are short of amazing.
But they just don’t come in and perform without training. Their performances are actually a culmination of years of practice and dedication. These athletes are only able to perform at this level because they have put in the time and training.
This is where the adage, “Practice makes perfect” is fully in play.
These athletes dedicate their lives to the perfection of their sport or craft, training everyday for years. Every day, over and over again, they run through their routines where it literally becomes second nature to them.
The Apostle Paul tells us that as Christians this should likewise be our mindset. We should reach for that same level of “spiritual” excellence.
“Exercise yourself toward godliness.” (1 Timothy 4:7b)
Other versions use the word “train.” What I find interesting about this word is that the Greek word is “gymnazo,” which is where we get our English word gymnasium. Paul is telling us that we are to be like those athletes, like those gymnasts, putting time in God’s gym practicing over and over again on a daily basis what the Bible tells us so that living a life of godliness will become “second nature.”
Paul goes on to explain why,
“Godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8)
We need to train ourselves through the spiritual disciplines to have that powerful spiritual life. We need to make these disciplines like reading God’s word, prayer and fasting, praise and worship, meditation, giving, and service “second nature” so that when an issue arises we won’t be stuck wondering what we should do, but we would know automatically “This is what God would want in this situation.”
Wednesday Evening Bible Study