It has been said in several ways, but the general idea is the same. People have said, “I am a practicing Christian.” Others have asked the question of, “Do you still practice your faith?” At first, it seems like an odd expression, and yet it remains so prevalent.
There are two other places I hear this type of phrasing used repeatedly. One is about the law. People will say, “He has a law practice,” or “I am no longer practicing the law.” The other place it is used is in the medical community. Someone is described as working in the medical practice, and even my doctor is called a general practitioner.
The phasing seems odd because we do not want our doctor or lawyer practicing with us. We want professionals who know what they are doing and did their practice on someone else.
A study of the use of this word will lead you in a couple of different directions. One has to do with the meaning of the word practice and its British form “practise.” There are alternative meanings to consider along with knowing the context to determine its exact meaning.
The other reason people call these disciplines a practice is because they are both never complete. The laws are always being reinterpreted, and medicine is continually learning from new tools and drugs. Medicine and law are job categories where you never stop growing in your knowledge and application.
This is what I love about the term, “the practice of faith.” Faith is not a destination but a journey. You need to be continually learning and growing. There is always something more to know or something new to experience. Faith, like medicine and law, push us to expand our current knowledge for our benefit and the benefit of those around us.
Today, know that no one expects you to have mastered your life with God. Simply take this day to learn something new and try something different. Today is a good day to practice your faith.