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Practicing Christianity

For years I was trained to teach others using the SHWIRPPA model. It turns out that if you just see or read something, you will only retain about 10%. If you just hear it, you will retain about 20%. When you observe something, you will retain about 30%. If you read it and hear it, you will retain up to 50%. It increases to 75% if you repeatedly write it, and if you practice it often, you will retain up to 90%. All my teachings and trainings then couldn’t just be me lecturing because the learner would only retain about 20%. What I have to do is include practices built into my classes so that the person in the room could retain almost all the information that I gave. The simple act of giving them the opportunity to apply what they had learned through a role play or practice exponentially increased their ability to remember and change their behavior.

It’s no wonder that James told us to not just be hearers of the Word (20% retention), but doers of the Word (90%). Becoming a Christian is not just about gaining knowledge or learning about God, it’s about becoming a new creation and changing our life. We can spend hours reading the Bible or other books about how to live the life God called us to, but until we interpret it and apply it, we will forget most of what we read or learn. Putting what you’ve learned into practice is a key element to growth. Try to remember last week’s sermon. How much do you remember from it? If you didn’t go out and apply the message, you probably don’t remember much. It’s time each of us began to own our growth by looking for ways to apply all we’ve learned so we can become more Christ-like each day.

Here are some Bible verses on practicing what you’ve learned.

1. Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all.

1 Timothy 4:15 GNT

2. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:9 NLT

3. Practice God’s law—get a reputation for wisdom; hang out with a loose crowd—embarrass your family.

Proverbs 28:7 MSG

4. Blessed are those who observe justice [by honoring God’s precepts], Who practice righteousness at all times.

Psalms 106:3 AMP

5. What good does it do for you to say I am your Lord and Master if what I teach you is not put into practice? Let me describe the one who truly follows me and does what I say. He is like a man who chooses the right place to build a house and then lays a deep and secure foundation. When the storms and floods rage against that house, it continues to stand strong and unshaken through the tempest, for it has been wisely built on the right foundation.

Luke 6:46-48 TPT

Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

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Leading With Love

We’ve all heard the saying that actions speak louder than words. We can probably all think of someone who is all talk and no action too. We have very little confidence in people who rarely do what they say. You never know when to believe them. I’ve had friends, coworkers and acquaintances who are like this. It’s no fun to be associated with them because it creates a lack of trust in you as a person. I don’t ever want to be known as a person like that. I want to be known as a person who does what they say or can at least own up to it when I can’t deliver on what I promised.

As Christians, we need to be concerned about our reputation because we don’t just carry our name with us. We also bear the name of Jesus Christ. It’s not just our reputation we’re tarnishing, it’s His. Knowing that, our lives should reflect the work He’s done and is doing in our lives. The love He’s shown us should be something we give out each day. 1 John 3:18 says, “My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality“ (MSG).

A life lead by love is one that doesn’t just talk about loving others, it does it. It shows up in the smallest ways throughout our day. Too many times we try to think of doing great things to the point that it keeps us from doing anything. I love the quote by Mother Teresa that says, “We can’t all do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.” If you and I will focus on doing small things today, showing God’s great love, we will make a difference in the lives of others. Doing great things isn’t what makes the difference in life. It’s doing the small things consistently. Today, look for something small you can do with great love, and bless someone.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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