Monday, March 5, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect, or NOT

Speaking of discipleship, a true disciple sits at the feet of his master and awaits words of wisdom. When the master speaks the student quickly writes what was said so he/she can remember and ponder it for years to come. The master's words must be practiced to be useful.

The teachings of Jesus revolutionized our world, not to mention the Jewish religion. So much so that they had to call it by another name. The early followers of Jesus adopted the name "Christian" after being taunted with the word by unbelievers in the culture around them. It means "little Christ." They were saying these Christians didn't have a mind of their own, they copied Jesus exactly.

What a great compliment to them! No wonder that's the name they adopted for themselves.

I enjoy pulling lessons from T'ai Chi to illustrate a spiritual lesson. Here's another lesson from T'ai Chi master, T.T.Liang:

"Try to make everything correct [in practice]. Otherwise, if the wrong pattern is formed, 
it will be hard to change."
~Lessons With Master Liang, by Ray Hayward

I remember my mom always said, "Practice makes perfect." Then she upgraded that to, "Perfect practice makes perfect." It makes sense, right? If we practice the wrong thing, we'll just get really good at doing it wrong. 

T'ai Chi practice it so nit-picky. You didn't twist your wrist up as you turned your waist in that last poster. Your knees weren't bent enough, or they were bent too much. Or you didn't remain at a consistent level throughout the entire form-at times a little higher, at times knees a little more bent. Use your waist to turn. Your movements are too jerky, etc. etc. Why all the fuss? Who will notice? Do these small adjustments really make much difference? YES! 

The tiniest corrections make a world of difference to your circulation, the health of your knees, and to your effectiveness in a fight.

What about our health? Will small bad habits make a difference? Over time they could cost you your life, mobility or general health. I'd say they make a difference. 

What about our life as disciples of Christ? Will small "dishonesties" effect my relationship with God? What about little sins left undisturbed? Everyone has their vices. Negative attitudes left unchanged, grudges from the past, etc. 

Let me ask this what Christ died for? Does this kind of "discipleship" demonstrate the power of the resurrection?

Take a moment to evaluate your life practices, especially those that build/erode your life as followers of Christ.

May our lives mirror the life of Jesus and the power of His resurrection as clearly as Martial Arts disciples mirror their master. 
Lessons with Master Jesus.


  1. Terri, I'm a Christian writer from KC. I like your blog and your writing. Good stuff! My blog is
    Holly Michael

  2. Thank you, Holly. I'll check it out. Hey, I used to live in Leavenworth!