I’ll never forget seeing on SportsCenter this particular interview of Allen Iverson, guard for the Philadelphia 76er’s. For some reason or the other Iverson had been skipping out on team practices. So during the interview one of the sports writers questioned him on it. His response was priceless. He said “Practice? We’re talkin’ about practice. Not a game, but practice.” If you have never seen the video of this interview, I suggest going on YouTube and checking it out. Recently this got me to thinking about something.
Many times as Christians that too seems to be our response. We have fallen into the pattern that we show up on Sunday for the game, but then Monday through Saturday we skip out on all the practices. We have to remember that we are the church and not some building that we meet together in on Sundays. Jesus said it this way “Why do you call me Lord but then don’t do what I said.” (See Luke 6:46) In other words, you can’t just listen to the word preached on Sunday during church and then the rest of the week not put it into practice. James 1:22 says that we deceive ourselves if we are just hearers and not doers.
This would be like the quarterback of your favorite football team missing all the practices during the week, not reading the playbook, and not getting together for film sessions with the rest of the team. How many of you think that he would have much success during the game on Sunday? No one. Then why do we think the same thing would bring success in our walk with Christ? Paul told Timothy to study to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, who rightfully divides the word of truth (See 2 Timothy 2:15). Paul also says to work out your own salvation (See Philippians 2:12) and Peter tells us like a newborn baby crave spiritual milk in order for us to grow up in our salvation (See 1 Peter 2:2). We can’t get any better, grow in our faith, or get further along in our walk with Christ by just playing in the game. We got to participate in the practices.
So yes I’m talkin’ about practice. Quit just showing up for the game on Sunday. Get in the trenches with the rest of the team at the practices from Monday to Saturday. James tells us that faith produces perseverance and when perseverance finishes it’s work; you will be complete, lacking nothing (See James 1:2-4). In other words, “Practice makes perfect.”