Doing the Right Things the Right Way

Story of the Day for Thursday November 10, 2011

Doing the Right Things the Right Way

                     Don’t deceive yourselves by merely listening to God’s Word – put it into practice. 

                                                                        James 1:22

 Don’t get me wrong: I’m a firm believer in reading and learning the Bible. Nevertheless, there is a hidden danger in regularly studying the Bible. Over time we easily view our practice of knowing Scripture as virtuous, rather than putting what we have learned into practice.

Life shouldn’t be this way, but it is: those who are the most devout, those who want to establish a daily time for reading the Bible, are the ones who are most prone to this deception. We begin by wanting God’s wisdom to transform our life, but, subtly, we can discover that we have been training ourselves to simply know facts.

This morning I read a portion from Colossians. I shut my Greek New Testament, thinking, “There, I did it. Read my Scripture reading for the day.” But if you would ask, “So, Marty, what do you intend to do today based on what you read this morning?” I wouldn’t know how to answer you.

 

The more disciplined we are, the more likely we are to train for the wrong thing. David Grossman, in his book On Combat, writes of a law enforcement officer who trained himself to snatch a weapon from an assailant’s hand. With a partner pointing a revolver at him, the law enforcement officer practiced relentlessly. As soon as he successfully disarmed his partner he would hand the gun back to him and practice his technique again.

One day the officer was able to put his technique into practice. An assailant pulled a gun on him and the officer deftly snatched the weapon from the assailant’s hand. And then, just as he had practiced for hours . . . he handed the handgun back to the assailant! (Fortunately, the officer’s partner was present to shoot and disarm the assailant).

 

After just reporting the disappointing results of my morning Bible reading, I’m hardly the one who should be offering advice. So, I won’t tell you what you should do. But, here’s what I intend to change: I’m going to try turning my Bible reading time into a prayer. Before I close my Bible, I want to take a moment to ask God what I should do with this knowledge, and then ask him for the strength to do it.

 

Learning to practice the right thing is crucial. I’ve seen video footage of NFL quarterbacks in practice throwing to receivers. The receiver catches the ball, turns his shoulders downfield, and then lopes back to the line of scrimmage.

Yesterday, however, I watched a video clip of a quarterback in his red jersey flipping a short five-yard pass. The receiver didn’t just make the catch and trot back to the line for the next play. He caught the ball and shot off like a rocket all the way down the field to the end zone. No surprise that this team has the highest “yards after catch” in the NFL.

More important than doing the right things is doing the right things the right way.

                                                               (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)