Why is it that some people seem to be always ready to lend a hand, help a friend, touch a life; and for others it is work? Why is it that others are always grumpy, caustic, or quick with a slicing comment? Why is it that some people always have a verse, poem, or song for every occasion?
Haven’t you wondered about such things? Well, I have stumbled upon the answer. It isn’t always that they are just naturally gifted in helping, being cranky, or remembering poetry. Instead, many of these people have practiced (sometimes on purpose and sometimes through the influence of someone else) a response to life until it has become second nature. I find that the helpful person has been brought up to be helpful by a parent, grandparent, or mentor. I find that the caustic person usually has other caustic people around them as friends or family. They get lots of practice! The person who always has a verse or proverb has them because they use verses, poetry and proverbs for themselves regularly.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (NIV)Hebrews 12:2
The Boy Scouts have a motto: Be prepared. In our Christian life, applying that motto sometimes seems elusive. We can’t pack a backpack full of love or patience (oh how I wish we could!).We ask, “How can I be prepared to be loving?” Or we ask, “How do I prepare more patience?” The answer is to make being loving something you practice. For patience we need to make counting to 10 something we do everyday. Over time, it will become more than an exercise. It will become second nature. It will become part of our character and not something we have to take out of a spiritual drawer somewhere.
Hebrews 12 encourages us to do that in the area of faith. Pointing back to the heroes of the faith that he highlighted in Hebrews 11, we are encouraged to practice something – fix our eyes on Jesus. How does a person grow in faith? They make Jesus the One they listen to and focus on. Faith isn’t just something that comes naturally. Faith is something that we practice over and over. How do we prepare to live in faith? We prepare by intentionally looking at Jesus. We listen to Him. We copy how He followed the Father. By practicing, faith becomes our first choice rather than our last one.
So today: decide what character quality of Christ you know that you need to put into your life and begin practicing. Practice love or patience or faith or whatever quality in which you need to grow. Doing so will prepare you for what life brings you next! Practicing turns our struggles into triumphs. So, let us prepare to walk with Jesus.
Something to think about,