“Practice makes perfect,” we are told. And surely this is true. Yet the practice itself is not perfect – far from it, especially in the beginning.
Practice involves success and failure – repeated over time – eventually outnumbering the failures with successes. Otherwise, there’d be no such thing as practice – there’d just be perfect. But that’s not how life works. Perfection – or maturity – comes only after sufficient practice. Athletes demonstrate this all the time.
As for spiritual things, consider this verse of Scripture:
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. – Hebrews 5:14
The “solid food” in this verse is spiritual knowledge. How can we reach maturity without practice? And how can we practice without mistakes?
Therefore, do not expect your growth to spiritual maturity to come without mistakes. Do not condemn yourself excessively for your shortcomings. The Lord knows you will fail if you try. So give it your best, and, when you fall, get back up and keep practicing. That’s how you reach spiritual maturity.
He who expects his practice to be perfect does not understand practice and will never reach maturity. But he who understands that practice is by nature a method of trial and error – of making mistakes and correcting them – will, by his endurance in the quest, eventually reach maturity.
The Lord promised us forgiveness in abundance because He knew we’d need it in abundance. Just be sure that you always ask for it when you need it…and then keep working toward needing it less.