My son plays baseball. He’s 7 years old. In their first few practices the coaches spent time showing them the best way to throw a ball. Elbow up, glove extended, throw across the body, flick the wrist. Pretty basic stuff. They all quickly understood the correct form. All that’s really left now is enough practice to be accurate and fast, to throw with strength and distance. What happened next is a little funny. Coach sends them out to play catch. Every boy goes through the same process. Catch the ball. Extend the glove. Lock and load, elbow up, throw! It’s going so slowly you can almost see them counting the steps in their head like some kind of baseball-induced ballet move. It was taking every kid an eternity just to throw the ball.
Coach stopped everyone, “You’ve got the form down. You know what to do. You just need to practice. Don’t think. Just throw.”
This is often the problem with our relationships with one another and with God. We dig into Scripture or search the next self help book hoping to find a silver bullet that will fight the temptation or fix the problem. We look for the Midas touch that will make us wealthy or the magic words that will give us success in relationships when we’ve already heard what we need to know to be successful. All that’s left is practice.
Don’t get me wrong. Exploring, memorizing, understanding Scripture – this is a critical part of the process, but at some point you’ve got to practice. You’ve got to use the things you already know. At some point you don’t think. You just throw. Maybe you hit the target. Maybe your effort falls short. Either way you’ve taken a step forward.
Get in the Word today. Read it, but don’t stop there. Practice it. Even if you get it wrong the practice will do you good.
1 John 3:7, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”