What was the last skill you learnt? Are you still practicing it?

I took a long pause after typing out the questions you just read. I’m on this keyboard trying to get answers to my own questions, so, I think it’s okay if you can’t give accurate answers. Obviously, you’ve got company.

Let me merge those questions, and rephrase them to, “Can you remember when and how you learnt a skill you’re still practicing?”

If yes (and it had better be a “yes” now, please)…what was it like?

For me, I’ll go back to when I first learnt how to drive. What was it like? It was both exciting and scaring, at the same time. I showed up for my classes, about four weeks. Until I learnt to start, move and navigate the manual car on my own, my instructor wouldn’t let me handle an automatic car. It was annoying, but he had my money, so I had to follow his rules.

The interesting thing about it all was, because I was determined to learn how to drive, I moved from being a total novice to navigating a manual car, all by myself, within a week. However, my instructor kept pushing my limits, for the remaining training weeks. I drove in a heavy downpour, in traffic, exceeded safe speed limits…yea, my instructor was both annoying and fun (if you believe risks can be fun). But guess what? After a few months of driving here and there, I stopped driving, and it’s been 3years and counting…

Now, I’m beginning to doubt if I can still practice all I learnt about driving. Somewhere deep within me, I just feel like I’ll have to relearn, but family and friends keep saying, “All you need is a short refresher. It’ll all come back.” I hope they’re right. I hope.

Few hours before I got on this keyboard, I saw my neighbour driving. She learnt how to drive the same month and year I learnt. I was just all smiles for her. I saw the confidence she was driving with, and couldn’t help but envy her a little bit. Unlike me, she already had her own car, when we were learning how to drive. So, while I waited until I had someone else’s car to drive, she never stopped practicing with her car.

James 1: 22-24.

My story reminds me of the above Bible passage. Part of that scripture verses say, “…don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are fooling yourselves…” (NLT) The Bible is talking to people like me, who take out time to learn something from the Bible, but don’t keep practicing it, and soon, it’ll look like we never learnt about it. We read the Word, and were convicted about how unkind we can be, but we never practice how to be kind. We learnt about purity and holiness, and while learning we saw God’s heart. We left the place of learning and never practiced what we’ve learnt. Are you like us? Are you like me? It’s okay to ask “like me?” It’s not just about driving, I’m also guilty, when it comes to not practicing things I learn from God’s Word.

If this hits your core, you can do better. We can do better. I know, most times, we don’t mean to be like that. We find ourselves acting contrary to what’ve learnt, before we even realize what we’re doing. Well, that explains why we need to, consciously, put the things we learn to practice. Driving has become second nature for my neighbour and not for me. Why? Practice. We both learnt how to do the same thing, at the same time. She continued practicing, I didn’t.

Your flesh is an ally of the devil

Your flesh won’t naturally do anything that the Spirit of God wants it to do. You have to, consciously, compel it to submit to God. If you allow your mind take the lead, without you navigating it, you’ll self-destruct. However, the beautiful part is, once your mind keep thinking and practicing what God’s Word says, it’ll conform to the Word, and your life will be transformed.

So, here’s the conclusion:

You and I are going to make a deliberate and conscious effort to practice the Word, until our mind conforms to the Word of God. Like every good practice, we’re going to need a plan. I have a plan mapped out already, so I’m just going to share it.

First, you need a journal. I’m naming mine “Word Practice.” You name yours what you want to. Step1 is, decide to read the Word of God every single day. Step2, write what you’ve learnt or you’re learning from the Word. Step3, keep track of how you’re practicing the Word. Your tracking might be daily, two days, three, five even, but it shouldn’t exceed every seven days.

Let’s make it more practical. Say you’ve learnt that you show be, “Quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger” (Ah! James be coming for us… Yes, he allowed the Holy Spirit to write that through him too). Okay, back to the plan. If you’re learning that from the book of James, write it out as a heading in your journal. Then, let yourself know how well you’re practicing it, every time you return to your journal, while making sure you’re praying to God to help you do better. I’ll suggest you have nothing more two practices you’re tracking, in a month.

This doesn’t mean you stop improving on other areas the Holy Spirit convicts you about, it’s just an exercise that’ll help you stay conscious and accountable. It’ll also help you mediate more and pray more about character development. Consider it one of the workouts in the Invisible Gym. It’ll build those spiritual muscles.

My prayer for you and me:

May this leap year be a year we’ll make quantum leaps in our spiritual growth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Get in the Gym,

Stay Spiritually Fit.


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