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Practicing at Home What We Want to Live in the World

One of the best pieces of advice I received as a younger parent was to train my children at home in the ways I wanted them to behave out in public. In other words, I couldn’t allow them to put  dirty feet on the table and sneeze all over their food at home and then expect them to suddenly be well-mannered at a friend’s house. What we practiced at home became our custom.

Our own maturation – emotionally, mentally, spiritually – is no different. We want it to happen quickly. We want to do things once and then be perfect. We feel disappointed by our mistakes or lack of discipline and then say, “Oh well” or shrink away in shame.

We need to change our mindset. We are not making scrambled eggs but souffle here. Time is required.

We need to practice at home, in the quiet, what we want to live out loud in the world, what we want to feel easy and routine.

We have all heard the phrase from scripture “practice what you preach.” Jesus was talking about the spiritual leaders of the day and saying to do what they said but not what they did. Because they didn’t live their beliefs.

James 1:22 (NIV) says something similar, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

I am going to make an assumption that you are the kind of person who desires to live well, to make your days count. Where we often fall short is not a lack of good intention. We fall short because we don’t repetitiously do the things that will bring us closer to our goals. We don’t make them part of the fabric of our lives.

I am also going to assume that there is one area of your daily life that you know could be more purposeful, or more spiritually focused. It’s an area that needs some practice. Most of us know what to do to grow, after all. We even know why. We just don’t have the habits we require.

Next week we are starting a 5-week series call The Daily Practice, so we can create the new habits we need to intentionally live what we believe.

I hope you will engage with the emails and on social media so we can learn from each other. It’s going to be simple, but I believe the change will be profound.

Each week we will take on one spiritual practice. We will evaluate how it’s going and, if needed, set into motion some choices that we hope to make a habit. You will only take on practices that are the right fit for you – no judgment here.

This isn’t about trying to perfect our lives or take on too many new things. It’s about looking ahead to where we want to grow personally and in relation to God and then taking daily steps to get there.

First, let’s pray that we are open to see how God wants to draw us closer. Let’s cast off shame and perfectionism and instead desire to authentically live our beliefs, knowing we will make mistakes.

Here are some action steps to get ready for the series.

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