When I think about practicing right things, I think of chess. Since I was 13, I have enjoyed playing chess. Back then, there was no internet. All games were face-to-face, over the board. With the increase of games played and learning from my opponents, my success in games improved…some. As a young adult, I began playing computerized chess games. The number of games I could play increased since it was not dependent on finding a human player. Again, my game improved…some.
Then I met a friend in South Carolina named David. David liked chess, pizza, and Star Trek. We would get together at lunch and play chess. We would watch Star Trek movies, eat pizza, and play chess before or after the movie.
We played a lot of chess over three years. In the first year, David beat me the majority of times–winning maybe 80 out of 100. In the second year, I learned a lot from David, and we probably tied—winning maybe 50 each. In the last year before the Lord called me back to Kentucky, I had learned most of what David had to teach me, and I won maybe 80 out of 100.
Then I learned to do two things: play people better and review your games to look at how you could have played better. You see, practicing does not make perfect. But practicing right things does. As a result, my game has improved dramatically.
Chess and Discipleship
What does a personal story about chess have to do with discipleship? Develop the right discipleship practices. Lead those you disciple to do the same. Keep it simple. Be consistent. Practice spiritual disciplines. Keep your relationship with God and people fresh. Live out the truths of God’s Word daily. Teach and disciple others faithfully.
Practice right things. As you do, God will bless your efforts. Make disciples!