Passing the Test
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.”
-2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV)
In conversation with a student this week, we talked about the intense competitiveness of guys and how in a recent intramural game, students nearly came to blows. It got me to thinking about tests, not necessarily the most pleasant of topics for students at this time of the year!
In my younger days, I was very competitive and hated to lose or to perform badly. I threw tennis rackets, slammed my hand down on ball returns, and murmured expletives to myself when I missed jump shots. Then I made the decision to follow Jesus and every time I picked up a ball or a racket, the test began. Did Jesus really make any difference in my life?
At first, I was unaware of the test. I acknowledged I was a Christian, started going to a campus ministry, and lived my life the best that I could. But I was really not much different on the field of competition. My awareness, however, was awakened during an intramural softball game. One of my teammates made an inexplicable error, and I began yelling at him. Another teammate, who happened to also be my roommate, came over and firmly told me I was out of line and to shut up. I immediately realized I had taken the test and failed.
My roommate and most of my teammates were not Christians. They knew of my conversion earlier in the school year. They had heard my proclamations and seen me with my Bible going to church and to Bible study. Now they observed me in a more real-life environment, and, truthfully, not much had changed.
The test comes when we find ourselves in the situations of everyday life that are common. It is easy for us to act “Christian” when we are in church or Bible study, but how do we act when we are living day-to-day in the world? Does Jesus really make any difference, or do we still act the same as we did before we came to know Him?
That day on the softball field helped awaken me to my need to rely on Jesus, to plead with Him, daily to change me from the inside out. I realized if I were going to pass the test, I needed all the help I could get.
Today, recognize that your everyday life is a test and others around you are observing how well you do. In order to pass, you will need all the help you can get from Jesus. He is willing to give it. All you have to do is ask.
1. How much like Christ do you look when you are in a worldly setting?
2. If you didn’t verbally tell others that you were a Christian, would they be able to know it by your actions?
3. How often do you pray that the Lord would help you to become more like Jesus in your daily actions? Do you believe He can change you?
2 Corinthians 2:14-15