There is no professional baseball, basketball, football player, etc., who doesn’t have to practice in order to obtain or maintain their skills. The same applies to every faithful Christian. Practice Makes Perfect! Thus the opposite applies as well, that without practice imperfection is obtained.
Webster defines practice as: “To perform or work at repeatedly so as to become proficient.” God clearly reveals to us that He desires us to practice certain things while here on earth. He spoke to Ezekiel, “My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.” (Ezekiel 33:31-32)
Just hearing words and not putting them into practice is exactly what Jesus describes in Matthew 7:24,26; “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man… but everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man…”
Why do we let Satan deceive us so? We must teach our children to be proficient in God’s Word in order that they may know to do God’s will (Prov 22:6). Peter felt so strongly about the Christians “practicing” certain qualities that he was continually reminding them lest they would forget them and fall. In 2 Peter 1:5-9, Peter lists these qualities and concludes in verse 10, “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”
Paul made it clear that in order to rightly divide God’s Word, we must study God’s Word with all diligence (2 Tim 2:15). The Hebrew writer stated, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb 5:11-15).
Jesus preached that his servants become perfect, but we cannot become perfect without putting God’s Word in practice (Mt 5:48). Thus, we must study God’s Word and hear God’s Word taught or preached, and once we become seasoned in the Word, become preachers, teachers and doers of good deeds. No one is born a perfect Christian, it takes hard work. Verily, practicing God’s Word makes a Christian perfect!