Studying for the test

Summer is almost here with graduations and weddings filling our weekend calendars. School will be winding down soon. I see the buses out and about on field trips.

I was remembering our own days with school age children this morning when I read this passage from 2 Corinthians. Paul says in Chapter 13:5:
“Examine yourselves as to to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” He goes on to say that Jesus Christ is in the believer, and this should be evidenced in that person’s life by their actions.

The words jumped off the page to me.

I remember quizzing our children for upcoming tests. A review sheet would be handed to me and I was supposed to just read down the list of fill in the blank answers, prompting their reply so they could move on to what they really wanted to do for the evening. Just a quick run through of the review sheet, mom, we don’t need to spend a lot of time here.

I think we all know me better than that…..I would mix up the questions, or change the way the review was written to see if they really knew the material. I would caution them that the teacher might not ask the question the way it was written on the study guide, suggesting that they would gain much by KNOWING the content, not just memorizing the right one-word answer.

They loved me for this. I promise…… and while the exam often proved to be just like the review sheet, it mattered to us that they actually acquired knowledge instead of just passing a test.

I felt somewhat vindicated by this passage this morning. I think Paul is urging us to not just have the answers to faith memorized, but to check ourselves carefully to make sure our knowledge is being applied to our real life circumstances.

It is not enough to know the right answers.

Your test, and mine, comes when we walk out what we have learned every day. The fill-in-the-blank answers to tough faith questions will fail us unless we have truly allowed God’s Word to instruct us, guide us and transform us.

Life is an essay question, not multiple choice or matching.

May God bless you with insight and honesty as you examine yourselves. In the Kingdom, school is never out <3

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