An NFL quarterback was benched recently due to his lack of performance on the field. The backup quarterback became the starter. When asked about the reason for the change, the coach replied that it wasn’t an easy change and the original starter was very upset but the coach was glad the quarterback was upset. He said, “this will make him work harder to get his position back”.

Sometimes we play like we practice and if we don’t practice hard and take it seriously, everyone can see the results of our lack of effort and we come up short.

In the game of life, we must practice to be like Christ so that we can be good witnesses for Him. If we don’t read our Bible, pray regularly, attend worship, work on our relationship with Jesus and strive to live Christ-like, then our everyday life will be what we practice – no real connection to the Lord and a life that is lacking peace.  But if we do those things then we will have a life full of blessings from the Lord and a peace that is hard to describe.

So ask yourself – what do I practice every day? Do I practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Or do I practice impatience, anger, hate and selfishness?

Galatians 5:22-23 says the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  When we practice our Christian lifestyle each day, the fruits will be evident to those we come in contact with.

When I used to play the piano for our choir program at Christmas time, I would practice and practice so I could present as flawless a piano accompaniment as possible. If I chose to slack off on the practice time, it would inevitably show during the program. I played like I practiced.  Just like the NFL quarterback.

We need to remember that we want to be the best Christian we can be and if we do not practice the things that bring forth the fruits of the spirit listed above, then we are practicing things that will make us a backup player.  We don’t want to be the backup……….we want to be a valuable player on the team………we want to be God’s starter………a starter who portrays love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Now hand me the football………..I’m ready to get started.