Do you consider yourself to be a good test taker?
Some people are just great at getting the answers right when the pressure is on. There are the natural genius types who remember everything they hear- the ones that are super effective and efficient in studying and getting study groups together- the ones who are just really cool under pressure to analytically pick apart questions and give answers that will get points- and then the lucky ones that just seemed to circle the right answers on a whim.
The rest of us- well- we struggle, don’t we. We are the procrastinators, putting the studying off to the last minute because there are more fun, or urgent matters at hand. We’re the ones with high levels of anxiety under pressure of the ones who just aren’t great sitting down in a room for hours focusing on a test. Do you fall in this category? If having a test canceled felt like winning the lottery, maybe you fall in this category.
Have you spent much time thinking about why tests are even necessary? Could there be a better way to go through schools? We may wonder what is the point, given all the misery they induce. There’s a reason we’ve used them in educational systems around the world for hundreds of years. Think about what a test does:
It brings to the surface what is inside. It makes seen, what is unseen. Awareness of someone’s knowledge and understanding go from being a rather subjective, gut-level feeling to an objective score. The score then enables teachers to help their students grow in areas of need.
Different kinds of tests are all of the news now- as millions of people around the world are being tested for COVID. A lot of people show symptoms, but without a test, it is impossible to know the underlying condition. Many people are wondering- is this sickness allergies, a cold, the flu, or COVID? If you are showing symptoms- you can’t help but wondering if it is COVID. According to Johns Hopkins reporting, about 92% of the time when an American gets tested, it comes back negative. So much of the time, we are worried about a reality that doesn’t exist. Still, testing is the best way to know “for sure”.
We have kind of the opposite of that problem with faith. So many of us are showing symptoms of the Christian faith. We go to church. We serve. We give. We say the right things. We do the right things. And yet what is brewing underneath is more of a social construct than a personal relationship with the divine author of all things. Even for those of us that have absolutely professed faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins- even for us- we so often lapse into cultural Christianity instead of our actions coming from genuine heart change.
How do we know if we are really right spiritually? If we are genuinely serving and worshiping the Lord- or if our focus has changed? And if we aren’t right, how do we get right? Those are some really important questions we’ll be exploring as we examine the story of the greatest test of all time- when God asked Abraham to give up that which he valued over all else.
Please join us either online or in person at Christ Community Church at 10:15 am, as we study this amazing narrative from Hebrews 11:17-19. As we learn from his story, we can be inspired regarding how we can live by faith today.
Let’s pursue genuine faith, Community, and the Great Commission together Sunday. Have a great weekend and I look forward to connecting with you soon!
-Pastor Nathan Rice