Sunday, May 3, 2009

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

My middle son is getting good at playing cello and golf. When he first started orchestra in sixth grade, his playing sounded like a combination of cats fighting and/or a explosion in a rubber band factory. It was awful. He rarely practiced for the first year and it sounded like it.

I told him if he would practice, he could be All City and All Region. And, for whatever reason, he took my advice and started practicing... alot. He has since been All City two years and All Region one year. As a freshman, he has played second chair in the upperclassmen orchestra. In fact, he just got through playing Michael Jackson's "Beat It" and I could understand what he was playing. Awesome!

His daily practice of golf has also helped his game. He shot an 84 a couple of months back and has really taken to the game. Now that he knows he can play well, his practice has increased. He can now beat me everytime (no huge accomplishment).

I think our spiritual gifts require the same amount of practice. First off, our flesh tends to thwart our spiritual life by staying overly busy and demanding Spiritual Perfectionism right off the bat. But for most spiritually gifted individuals, it took years of deliberate practice, mentoring and mistakes to get to where they are now. In fact, most would say they are still developing their gifts even after 30 years of practice.

For example, if God says to lay my hands on someone and pray for their healing, I have to learn to obey. Then I have to learn to listen to what God wants me to pray. Then I have to speak that prayer. Each step requires months or years of building the ability to trust God and carry out what He wants me to do.

I am a blessed man. I have had several godly men mentor me, one for 7 years on the art of praise and worship and listening to God's voice. He was gentle (most of the time) yet insistent that I take the necessary steps of courage and action to obey God. His years of experience at practicing his gifts gave me the courage to go after mine.

So, if you think you might be a bit rusty at your spiritual gifts, start practicing. Get someone to mentor you and meet with that person weekly, going over your progress and process. You need someone who will push you and encourage you to go farther in your spiritual gifts and not let you stagnate along the way.

Who is your spiritual mentor? What areas do you need to grow spiritually?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dusty, thanks for your comments on my blog, it is good to know somebody is reading it.
    Your "about me" says you have a handicapped child. Our oldest son passed when he was 9 years old, but he had very severe cerebral palsy. He passed away about 2 and a half years ago. Anyways, ttyl.