How many of us have ever taken piano or clarinet lessons? What about being on a sports team? Any of us have soccer, baseball, or cheerleading practice to go to after school? Maybe a debate team? Dance lessons? Karate classes?
When I was in high school I was in the marching band. And on Friday night we all didn’t just show up with our instruments at the football game to play our halftime show. Of course not! Everyday after school we rehearsed for hours preparing for it. We practiced.
Practice makes perfect, the saying goes, right?
So what if we looked at loving God this way? You know, like daily practicing it?
What if we didn’t just go to church on Sunday, maybe midweek too, and think, “Okay, I’ve done my ‘Christian stuff’ for the week”? Now I know many of you are faithful prayer warriors and daily readers of the Word so this may not completely apply to you. However, I’d like to challenge your mindset. Let our “Christian stuff” not be about habits or normalcy, but about love—the big picture.
The Big Picture
We live near the beach where there are tons of surfers. Many of them have surfed all their lives. Even into their 70s or older, some are still surfing. And that’s just it. The big picture. It’s a lifestyle. Why? Because they love it. It brings joy to their lives. It’s part of who they are.
Can you see the mindset difference? We do for God because we love Him. Daily we look for ways to express love to Him and others, practicing His presence, because we love Him. Saying, “I’m a Christian,” or “I’m a believer,” should carry the same connection as “I’m a surfer,” “I’m a dancer,” or “I’m a musician.” It’s who you are, your life, not what you do.
And just like practicing anything, we get better as we do it more. Life takes practice. Practicing communication skills, relationship building, parenting, listening, seeing people through God’s eyes. It doesn’t just happen because we went to church on Sunday. We need to make it our lifestyle.
Countless times throughout a day there are opportunities for us to practice our skills—facial expressions, voice inflections, kindness, generosity, serving, listening. Are we exemplifying our loving Father? Practice for a purpose. Practice the lifestyle. Live to love.