As Mom of six kids, I heard myself on many occasions tell my kids to remember to practice. Whether it was on an instrument or a sport or memorizing lines for a play, I would tell them again and again “guys, remember, you get really good at what you practice…to the point that they would say “Yes I know Mom and roll their eyes!” but it was because I knew that if I wanted them to do well, and in fact do their best, and give God their best, it wouldn’t come without effort and hard work and of course PRACTICE. But practicing a sport or lines only shaped them on the outside. God desired for them to be transformed on the inside as well.
Phil 4:8 says Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me- put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. God knew it would not come naturally for us think on these things or to be Christlike so he said to put them into practice. That means that before we act, and before we speak we need to think first and sometimes change our minds, change our actions and change our speech.
So, ask yourself, what do you practice? Do you practice love? Do you practice joy? Do you practice peace? Do you practice being patient when someone is already 10 min late? When you wake up do you practice being thankful or do you practicing grumbling about work or how cold it is outside or do your practice being positive. Because I promise you, whatever you practice you will get very very good at!
If we practice being negative and if we practice complaining and wining, then when we are faced with difficult situations and circumstances, our automatic response will be the one we have practiced the most. If we want the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts to be pleasing like it says in Psalms19:14, then we need to practice being kind and we need to speak only the things that will build up and not tear down. We need to say I forgive you more often than justifying the reason to hold a grudge or hang onto an offense a little longer.
My kids saw me smiling one day in the middle of the day while I was cleaning the floor and said “Uhh why are you smiling?” I said “oh lots of reasons”, and I began to tell them all the reasons I had to smile. I honestly don’t enjoy scrubbing a floor, but in that moment, I was practicing being thankful and positive and it spilled out onto my kids until we were all smiling.
So, parents, I want to speak to you today. Whether you are aware or not, the choices we make have such a ripple affect and make such an impact. Your children are always watching and listening and they are practicing what you are practicing! You can start today to begin teaching them how to practice being positive. As you wake up, embrace them, and tell them you love them before you ask why the milk is spilled or ask what that strange smell is!! You see not only do we have the CHOICE to set the tone of our home from the second we wake up but it is a PRIVILEDGE. You are not only practicing showing love and kindness, but you are creating a wonderful loving atmosphere in your home. What a beautiful start to your day.
So, I want to encourage you to ask yourself today- What am I practicing? Because whatever you practice you will get very good at!