There is something to be said for repetition. When we want to get good at something, a new skill, a new behavior, what do we do? We practice. As the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect”. As humans, most of us are not born with the natural ability to play a musical instrument or be the best in a sport. Even those who are born with those talents require practice to refine their skills.
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“This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.” – Acts 10:16
If we want to learn a new musical instrument, we all know that we need to practice. If we want to be good at a sport, what do we do? We practice. We take that basketball shot over and over and over again, until we get really good at shooting the basketball. In baseball, we practice hitting, or we throw the ball back and forth playing catch. Repetition is the key to us getting good at something.
Repetition is also important in our communications. It has also been said that a message needs to be communicated multiple times before it truly lands with an audience. I think God knew this when he talked to Peter. When God appeared to Peter to reveal to him this vision, God had to repeat himself 3 times to make sure that the message stuck. And when Jesus was about to be crucified, he asked Peter 3 times if he loved him, and then gave him the same instruction three times to “feed my sheep.” – (John 21:15-17).
To reinforce the repetition model, he sends three men from the house of Cornelius to come talk to Peter. And then when Peter meets with Cornelius, he is told that three days ago he had the vision. And just to add more fuel to the fire, when Jesus was crucified, he rose on the third day. The number three keeps screaming at me this morning. Apparently I am like Peter and I need to understand the value of repetition.
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What message doe we keep hearing over and over again in our lives? Are our bosses or employees telling us something over and over again that we are not hearing? Is our spouse or significant other repeating the same message but we are too stubborn and insecure that we are not open to any feedback from them? Are we so worried about being right that we defend our position at our own peril? Are we so blind that we can’t see what we are about to lose? Instead of getting annoyed at the feedback, it might be worth considering if it is God trying to send us a message.
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for you amazing Word. Let the scales fall from our eyes, and our hearts and minds be opened to the great work that you are trying to do in our lives. Open us to feedback, and help us to not be so full of pride that we refuse to entertain the fact that we have lots that we can improve on. Help us want to better ourselves every day, and not be complacent and lazy with the gifts and talents that you have given us. Help us to be good stewards of all that you have blessed us with. Empty us of all pride and insecurity, and fill us with your goodness and mercy. Let your Holy Spirit flow in and through us Lord. Let it overflow. Guide us through everything we do today Lord. Help us to stay close to you. We seek you first, and give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
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