Continuing where we left off last week, I would like to add something that Paul said to the church in Rome, ‘Love must be sincere.’ How do we make love sincere? Love is kind of like playing a musical instrument. Both are things we do, both are verbs. To become proficient, we have to begin practicing love. To become proficient on and instrument, to get to the point where you can play the piano naturally, you must practice
I remember when I was taking guitar lessons and I got to a point where I was learning jazz. I really didn’t like jazz. Jazz seemed so unnatural. There’s no melody to jazz. There’s kind of an odd rhythm and keys. It’s hard to listen to jazz. But then, when I began to learn it, what it was made up of, how it was put together, then I began to play it and appreciate its chord structure. I began to start playing by habit. It started to become natural.
I never got to a point where I was proficient at it, I barely began learning how to improvise, but a good jazz musician has learned—or rather practiced—jazz so thoroughly that it has become his nature. He hardly has to think about it. The rhythms come naturally, the chords come naturally. I remember one time when my guitar instructor took my guitar and tried playing some rock n’ roll on it; I don’t remember why, it was to demonstrate something. He was raised on rock and roll, and he said, “I haven’t played rock m’ roll in so long, I forgot how.” He had become a jazz musician. It became second nature. That’s how practicing love is. Eventually, it becomes second nature. But if we don’t practice it continually, we’ll rust at it.
We need to learn to blend cultivating our talents with cultivating love. The two go hand in hand. How excellent our talent might be is meaningless without love. Let us put love into practice.