Athlete, Practice Does Not Make Perfect


Athlete, Practice Does Not Make Perfect

Liz Newell

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The recruiting process for college sports is rigorous, especially in the competitive culture we live  in today. As a college athlete, coaches expect you to have reached your “peak” performance by the time you get to preseason.

Every year there are new standards to meet, new teammates to adjust to, and a new way of living your life in accordance with your sport.

Over the course of 15+ years in soccer, I had several good coaches and several bad ones. Whether at the rec league level when I was 6 or at the D1 college level, they all had one thing in common: They never expected me to be perfect!

Of course, at the time, I thought I needed to have already reached perfection in order for them to want to coach me. I thought I could never mess up. Never make mistakes. Never let someone else beat me. Never make a bad play or get tired.

Looking back, while the nature of my whole career was competitive, I never remember even once when my coaches explicitly said they needed me to become an indestructible robot void of emotion and all things that made me human, including mistakes.

Over time, I found the same thing is true in my relationship with God. I always thought my true value, true worth, true fullness, and true completeness came from what others thought about me, especially my coaches whom I thought controlled my destiny.  

God says something different. He says in Ephesians 2:10 that He doesn’t expect us to be perfect or to have already met a standard when we come to Him. In fact, “we are His workmanship,” meaning that He is the one doing the work, and He is not finished with us. Furthermore, sculpture that is HIS creation, you and I, will not be complete in this lifetime.

He declared us “good” when He created us in His image in Genesis 2. While there are commandments He calls us to keep, the only “perfection” we will ever reach is when we finally see Him face to face in eternity and prayerfully hear, “well done, good and faithful servant.”


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