Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you not recognize for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless you fail the test.
2 Corinthians 13:5
In 2003, LPGA golfer Annika Sorenstam became the first woman in 58 years to compete with men in a PGA tournament. Although she missed the cut by four shots, she had a respectable tournament and finished as well as or better than several of her competitors. “I tested myself from start to finish,” she said afterward. “That’s why I was here.” Sorenstam put herself to the test to find out just how good she was.
If we don’t test ourselves, we will never know how strong we are. Paul’s final words to the Corinthians serves as a wake-up call for us. In this challenge, he tells the Corinthians to test themselves to see whether they are Christians—to take an honest look at their lives to see if they are demonstrating faith in Jesus Christ through their actions.
Just because Annika Sorenstam didn’t pass her test doesn’t mean that she is no longer a true golfer. It just means that she had an unintentional setback. In the same way, just because we sin doesn’t mean that we are not truly Christians. We all have setbacks with sin, but as Christians, our lifestyle should not be one characterized by willful, habitual sin.
As Sorenstam tested herself on the golf course, we too should examine ourselves to find out where we are in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Some “test” questions that might be helpful include: Are you a Christian? Have you turned away from sin and committed your life to Jesus Christ, trusting in Him alone for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life? Does your lifestyle give evidence of your faith in Jesus Christ?
1. How did you answer the above “test” questions?
2. If you didn’t pass the “test,” what needs to happen next in your life? If you did pass, how are you demonstrating your faith in Christ?
3. What is one of the toughest tests that you have faced in competition?
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
1 John 1:5-10
Almighty God, thank You that today I can walk in the freedom of forgiveness because of Jesus Christ. Amen.