Spiritual Practice


Chris Wilterdink

As a kid I wanted to be good at everything I did—the first time. When my friend Bryan invited me to go waterskiing, I hesitated. I had skied on snow, never on water. But Bryan said, “It’s easy. Just watch and learn.”

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I watched Bryan balance until the boat got up to speed. Then he rose out of the water, gliding effortlessly. This will be awesome! I thought, strapping on my life jacket. Bryan’s dad pulled me around the lake for three hours, and I stood up for maybe three minutes total. I was sore, embarrassed, and tired—and I never waterskied again.


We must try to become mature and start thinking about more than just the basic things we were taught about Christ.
Hebrews 6:1a (CEV)

Perhaps I could have become a perfect water skier, but only if I had kept practicing. I can’t learn simply by watching; I have to learn by doing as well. Hebrews 6:1 challenges us to “go on toward perfection” (NRSV), to “press on to maturity” (CEB), to “push on toward a more perfect understanding” (The Voice), to “grow up in Christ” (The Message). Will I ever be a perfect Christian? Probably not—but I will get better by practicing.


GO ON—PRACTICE! How are you becoming more mature in your faith and living out what you believe? John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, suggested practicing the means of grace below as a way of growing up in Christ. Which of these practices would make the biggest difference in your life? in your community?

  • Read the Bible
  • Meditate on scripture
  • Pray
  • Fast
  • Worship
  • Healthy living
  • Share faith with others
  • Share in Communion
  • Share in Baptism
  • Christian Conferencing
  • Bible Study
  • Do good works
  • Visit the sick
  • Visit prisoners
  • Feed the hungry
  • Give generously to the needs of others
  • Seek justice
  • End discrimination
  • End oppression
  • Address the needs of the poor

—from devozine (July/August 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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