“We Talkin’ ‘Bout Practice”

It starts with desire, continues with determination and is fulfilled with practice.

In Allen Iverson’s infamous 2002 news conference rant, he mentioned “practice” 17 times, and compared practice with “the game” 9 times.  In this two minute diatribe, Iverson told the world that he had skill, but lacked character.  His desire to be a great player fell short and he failed to achieve basketball greatness in all respects; most disappointingly, Iverson failed to couple his desire to win with a daily determination to overcome his own “demons” and told the world that he did not understand the importance of practice.

The Baseball Season has 162 Games. The basketball and hockey seasons have 82 Games. The football  season has 16 Games.  Theoretically, at the beginning of every season, every team should aspire to win the championship.  Before the season begins, before the shoes are laced and before the games are played, it all starts with the desire to win.  Desire is to wish, to long for, or to petition.  Theologically speaking, desire is hope.  The Bible says that “our hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5: NIV) and “we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19 NIV).  Desire must be coupled with determination. Theologically, determination is faith.  While a few teams may have the inside track, and fewer still will be preseason favorites, if a team doesn’t want to win, or even think they can win, or have the desire and determination to win, they shouldn’t even play. 

Desire and determination are fulfilled with “practice.”  All of the hope and faith and desire and determination in the world don’t  amount to a hill of beans without putting them  into “practice.” How we play the game is determined by how we practice.  We need to practice what we preach and preach what we practice.

Concertofprayer  blogged this:

In Matthew 23:3, “Jesus warns the crowds AND his followers about those who do not practice what they preach.  But look at how he says it. In Verse 3 Jesus tells us “do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do”.  The Living Bible Translation says “so practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.” In Verse 5 he goes on to say “but all their works they do to be seen by men”. In Verse 7 he says they seek to be called “Rabbi” (teacher) by men.  He then reminds us there is only one teacher.  THE CHRIST.  Matthew 23:12 says “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Then in the blistering critique that follows Jesus goes after character issues and matters of the heart. He pronounces all the woes on the preachers/teachers of his day. 

Let’s turn this upside down.  Preaching what you practice speaks volumes before you even say a word.  Who you are, what you do speaks very loudly about your character.  If you claim to have Christ as Lord of your life, if you claim to follow Jesus, if you claim you are a “Christian” you should be asking yourself what your life preaches.  Is it consistent with the Word of God?  Is it consistent period, or do you have one face for one person and another face for another.  Do you present a face period?  Read it again.  He says in verse 3 “for they say (preach) and do not do (practice)”.

Romans 2:21 asks us a question.  “You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?”  Do you preach like a house of fire, quote Scripture after Scripture, impress many with your command of the Word of God yet contradict it all by failing to apply all your wisdom and knowledge to your own lifestyle?  How is it possible to preach and not practice? By doing it in your own strength, your own puffed up pride, and your own self-righteousness.   By doing it in a manner that says I don’t have to act the way I tell you to act. So would the quote be better said:  Preach what you practice?  If we do that and we are honest with ourselves, then many of us would not preach or teach.

Preaching what you practice is really a testimony to celebrate what God does through your life.  Preaching what you practice is preaching/ teaching with experience behind it.  Preaching what you practice pushes you forward to experience more of God, in order that there is more to preach/teach.

Scripture should always be preached but how much more effective will it be if we are living it out as we preach it?  We cannot do anything unless God does it through us, and if God does it through us and we live it, then it is scripture come alive. Scripture that is alive is easy to preach.   In the end it is important to preach what we practice, to have living faith that is guided by the Word and spoken through the Word, yet backed up by Christ that “liveth” in me.

Question for all of us:  Do we resemble the cup washed on the outside but not the inside? Beautiful on the outside but full of hypocrisy on the inside?  Character matters.  Compassion matters.  Can you afford to be a hypocrite?  Do you practice what you preach or do you preach what you practice?”  From http://concertofprayer.wordpress.com

We need to do both.   What do you think?

In the very well done Gatorade commercial, Kevin Durant shows us what it means to practice.

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