Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Spiritual Penmanship

For even hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:21

“The word translated "example" in this verse is a figure of speech, suggested by the tried and true copybook method of teaching penmanship, where one traces letters for copying.

Through the original Greek language we see in this word a copybook like every student uses when learning to write. At the top of the page a specimen of beautiful numbers and letters are flawlessly penned. The page is a white, spotless sheet of paper prior to the student's effort to transcribe the copy. Every student has experienced the awkward attempts in the beginning to duplicate properly the writing at the top of the page, but it takes persistent determination and constant repetitive practice before success is achieved.

The application the apostle wanted his audience to draw is obvious and appropriate. Jesus is the beautiful writing at the top of the page. He is our copy-head.

Just as the young penman remains steadfast in the initial slow, arduous and awkward efforts of his labors to master the copy-head, so the Lord's children must continually "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). The rational student does not throw aside his pen in despair and profess he cannot learn to write after completing his first, clumsy and imperfect attempts. He recognizes that with practice comes proficiency, and that eventually he will attain to a degree of success impossible to him in the beginning. The level of expertise he attains will be largely due to how closely he continues to look to the copy-head for guidance.”

www.studylight.org [I greatly condensed the original version.]


  1. What a comforting message! Indeed I often feel like a stumbling kindergartener with the blotches and "do-overs" on my page. This really resonated with me that practice makes perfect and by just keeping an eye on the Savior, I can master these mortal pages. Another uplifting message from a truly anointed sister. Love you, Donna!

  2. It takes effort to do it neatly, even once you can do it. If we aren't careful we tend to fall into old habits.