top of page
  • Writer's pictureJenny

Practice Makes Permanent

We have probably all heard the saying, "practice makes perfect," especially if you ever took piano lessons, but in reality, whatever you do over and over is cemented into your mind, or in the case of piano playing, "in your fingers." So practice makes permanent.

If you want to correct a particular passage of a musical composition where you consistently find yourself stumbling, you have to give it your complete attention, looking carefully at what is causing the error. Is it a wrong note, or timing, or perhaps a seemingly innocent wrong finger playing a particular note? Perhaps it is the other hand that is really the problem, or the approach from the previous measure. It will not self-correct, no matter how many times you play it over and over. This only cements the problem. "There I go again," you think, as you try it the next day, making the same mistake. It will require an intense investment of time and energy to adjust to the correction, played over and over, slowly, carefully, correctly. And then repeated, over and over correctly. Left hand alone, right hand alone, slowly, quickly, loudly, softly, hands together, sometimes with a metronome, and the next day and the day after you will have to do it all again - correctly for that spot to be played correctly every time. It might even feel like you are starting at the beginning of the process the next day, or it might come together and you sail right through the troubled area!

This may be just like our lives. If we see we are stumbling in some point, we may have to look closely and study carefully to determine what is causing our problem, to truly be changed and be free from that sin, to be filled with peace and walk in the Spirit, and to truly be free to love others.

Look intently into the perfect law that brings freedom. (James 1:25) Jesus said if you are angry, and call someone a fool, you could be in danger of the judgment! Looking with lust is like committing mental adultery, and it would be better to pluck out your eye than be thrown into hell. Neither of those choices, resulting in judgment or hell, sound good to me. I want that freedom that James spoke of. I like the promises of Jesus for abundant life (John 10:10), and the love, joy, and peace that Paul says will be produced in me as I am filled by the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Jesus called it rivers of living water flowing out of me (John 7:38). That sounds good. That's what I want. But how do I get there? I can't seem to get it right. I keep stumbling. Well, yes, I am doing the same things, over and over. Sounds permanent.

So what do I do? Jesus paid my debt and I am forgiven, right? Doesn't that cover it? What about those stumbles, or downright crash-and-burns in my life. Am I already perfected? Obviously not. That pesky little word "repent" is the word Jesus used, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near."(Matthew 3:2) What did he want the people to do? To turn to Him for healing and transformation. To realize their only chance of real change was His work in and through them, every day. First awareness of shortcomings, then admission, submission, transformation, and empowerment by His Spirit. Day by day. Maybe moment by moment.

Asking God to show me what is causing my controlling attitude, deceit, anger, or lack of forgiveness, when confronted by the truth, begins to shed light, and brings awareness of my problem. These qualities are not the fruit that comes from a relationship with the Spirit. I have to look intently at why I don't have the peace and joy that the Spirit brings, why my life is not flowing smoothly. I finally see my problem as being my fault, not someone else "making" me angry, or that I'm holding a grudge when the Bible clearly tells me not to.

I have to realize that there are problems, stumbles, in me that need a solution. I am at least identifying a need, admitting my own shortcomings. I can't fix it. I am handicapped. I have no arms. God must. He must transform me from the inside. I must run back to God over and over, every day. I must trust God and watch Him work in my life. If I stumble again, I must go back to the Lord for cleansing and empowerment from Him. This is my daily journey. He will change me from the inside, a change that will be more like Jesus, continuously, a heart-change that will work out to my fingertips.

If I yield to Him daily He will transform me! This is truly freedom from stumbles and I can sail more easily through life! That does not mean there won't be more mistakes to deal with. It seems God gives me challenges, one after another. I think the reason is that I need to stay close to Him, and what better to help me but struggles that keep my face upward, searching for His.

I want to live wholeheartedly for the Lord and be transformed into the image of Jesus more every day as God works His will and His way into my life. And He gets the credit. I am His workmanship, to shine for Him, to reflect His glory. Right down to my fingertips.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page