He said Practice, Not Perfect
You know when you read a really familiar passage of scripture and see something you’ve seen a hundred times, but a new word jumps out at you? The word this morning was “practice”. It set me free today, so I hope it does you too.
I was reading a familiar and much needed passage this morning from Philippians Chapter 4, trust me, you’ve heard it and recited it. Whatever is honorable, true, excellent, etc... think on these things. You know the one, but the verse that follows it is what really caught my eye.
“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9
He said practice. He knows we need practice and He made room for it.
We read too much condemnation over ourselves in scripture,
and we miss keywords like “practice”.
God never asks us to be perfect nor does he expect us to be.
He created us; He knows what we’re working with and He’s not asking us to do something that’s impossible. Though on some days I get that it feels like that.
It feels like that because I consistently ask myself to be perfect.
I let my failure add up in my eyes, but that’s not the kind of math that God does.
Ever heard the expression “practice makes perfect”? It’s wrong; only God makes things perfect. Psalm 138:8 promises that God will perfect that which concerns you.
We won’t get into the list of things that concern me, we don’t have that kind of time, you all have lives. Let’s just remember that only God perfects the things in our lives, it isn’t our job to work everything together for good, try as we might. So, I’m going to try to remember that I’m practicing and accept the peace God gives. He is perfecting, and I can rest in that.
The end of Philippians 4:9 reminds me that if I can keep this in mind, the God of peace will be with me. He will be with me handing out peace when I fall on my face, and He will be right there with peace when I get something really right. The peace is always available because it’s His presence. Now I just have to practice remembering it.
This weekend let’s stop striving for perfect and find peace in practice.