Perseverance must finish its work so that you may |
be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ”
In my many years of teaching, particularly when I dealt with private music students, I found that some children—and parents!—balked at the idea of the necessary time devoted to practice. Some actually thought that they should be able to come to lessons and that would suffice for them to learn to play the piano, or whatever instrument they tried to learn.
This kind of approach for learning how to play an instrument never works. The students make no progress. Every lesson ends up nearly like the first. These students clearly don’t take their music lessons seriously. They do not understand that practice makes all the difference in growth.
Very much like a dedicated music teacher, God wants His children to make progress in the faith. Just as coming to a weekly lesson without practice fails to equip a young person to become a musician, coming to church once a week—or less—never produces mature believers either. As recorded in 2 Peter 3:18 God expects His children to:
“…grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Proverbs 2:1-5 records Solomon, in teaching his son, encouraged him saying:
“…store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
Paul, in teaching young Timothy, spoke these words, as recorded in 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV:
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Paul wasn’t even with Timothy to teach him when this was written in a letter. Timothy obviously had “homework” to do.
Our homework, or “practice,” helps make us mature followers of Christ. Such growth takes place over a very long time—a lifetime, in fact.
There is no short cut. Private Bible study, reading books by wise Christians, and prayer, journaling, fasting, and other Christian disciplines will develop faith over time. We should clearly understand that we must diligently apply our hearts and minds to becoming all God has made us to be!