Practice and Unstable Feelings
Geoff Colvin's Talent is Overrated states, "becoming world-class great at anything seems to require thousands of hours of focused, deliberate practice." Further he states:
Deliberate practice is hard. It hurts. But it works. More of it equals better performance. Tons of it equals great performance. As for pleasure, practice ranked far below playing for fun and even below formal group performance, which you might reasonably guess would be the most stressful and least fun activity. Practice is so hard that doing a lot of it requires people to arrange their lives in particular ways. More generally, the most effective deliberate practice activities are those that can be repeated at high volume. If it seems a bit depressing that the most important thing you can do to improve performance is no fun, take consolation in this fact: It must be so.
Think about the words of this social observation in light of your life as a Christian. There's a reason life is full, lasting, enduring, faith-fueled, and forever focused when God is in view. Additionally, there's a reason life is empty, a struggle, dimly lite, fear-ridden, isolated, and desperate when God's in the rear-view and not in the windshield.
Colvin's conclusions are helpful for us today. We can't get to joyful acts without truths to know.
Your movement for God will never outpace your knowledge of him. Some Christians who know the most, love and do the least. In response, other Christians advocate for dismissing doctrine in favor of more action. So how exactly does right thinking, feeling, and doing relate to one another?
Simply, we can't arrive at knowing by doing. Biblical counselor, Carrie Mansfield states, "Feelings are unstable, change direction, and were never intended to lead us to truth or to fuel our actions." Truth ALONE is able to create faith, affections and joyful actions.
Therefore, we must look long into the work of Jesus. We must pour a foundation with the concrete truth of Psalm 100:3 and Psalm 100:5. That foundation will create a life prepared for joyful acts (making noise, singing, worshipping, blessing) in all times, in all places, and in all ways.
This post corresponds with Pastor Jacob's August 20 sermon "Our Steadfast Lord" from Psalm 100.