Practical – what does this mean? Related words are “practice” and “practically”. “Practice” either gives the impression of a “dry run” – opportunity to learn your trade, hone your skills, so they are at their best before the real business starts – or to learn what is required to overcome your weaknesses, so that you don’t come unstuck when it really matters. A good coach is a great help in this regard.
“Practice” also has the meaning of a place where doctors apply their skills for benefit to the health of their patients, perhaps even to the detection of a life-threatening condition. “Practically” also relates to “nearly”, which might indicate a narrow escape, a “near miss”, a “close call”, or didn’t quite get something right.
We can see the connection with “discipline”, which of course can be a verb or a noun. It’s easier to think of “being disciplined”, for something which we should not have done, or for something which we have not carried out correctly. To be a disciple means that you have someone in whose principles you believe, to whose example you aspire – someone whose influence you genuinely want to reflect in the actions and responses of your life.
There’s a lot of relevance to the living of daily life in this paragraph, because being practical goes with having a disciplined approach to things – better able to face up to difficulties, to whatever challenges life brings our way.
Every one of these positive – practical – qualities can be found in the teaching, and example, of Jesus Christ. We Christadelphians look to him as our Master and our Friend, and we wait for his return to the Earth to rule with power and authority – to end the tragedy of mankind’s misrule.
How did we find out about these things? By reading the Bible, and by trying to apply its teaching to our lives. Even as the Old Testament points the way towards the need for Christ in the world, so the New Testament gives the evidence that his way of life is vital. It is the means of ending the sadness, and the bringing of salvation to whoever believes and is baptised. This can mean you – don’t be a “practically” person – choose life in Jesus and have it more abundantly! Here are some examples of Jesus’ message to us:
Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28 – 30
Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14: 6
Whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.
Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.