Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What's It Going to Be?

I hate tests!  I don't know what it is, but tests bring out new levels of stress in me.  I can study.  I can know all the answers.  It doesn't matter.  The tests still scare me.  And if I must take a test, please don't let it be true/false.  Those are the worst. . . especially for someone like me who over-analyzes everything.  For me, a true/false test goes something like this:

"This is true.  No, wait.  There could be something false within this seemingly true statement.  Let me examine every word and the meaning of every word.  Okay, yes, it's true.  But wait!  What if they're trying to trick me by making me believe that it's true when really it's false.  Tricky, very tricky."

Yes, I'm serious.  That's how I am when faced with a true/false test.  It takes me forever, and I'm so stressed by the time I'm done that I almost don't care how I scored.  I'm simply relieved to be finished.  No, true/false is not for me.  If I must take a test, I prefer multiple choice.  To me, it's just much simpler.  Sure, the odds of getting the answer correct are greater with true/false; unfortunately, the odds of getting the answer wrong are also greater. With multiple-choice, on the other hand, you typically have a one in four chance of coming up with the correct answer; however, I don't feel as if the tester is trying to trick me. With less stress and greater confidence, I am then able to remember the facts I studied and choose the correct answer.

As much as I hate tests, you can imagine my horror at discovering that I face a test day after day. Thankfully, it is multiple-choice. Each day, the test presents the same question: what will you do today? Similarly, it also gives the same two choices: (1) deny yourself or (2) deny Christ. And every day, I must make a choice. You will notice, however, that unlike many multiple-choice questions, there is no "none of the above" option. We don't get off that easily. If we choose to live out our day according to our own plans and ambitions, then we have essentially made the choice to deny Christ. It's harsh, I know, but it's true. The striking fact is that if we do not deny ourselves, we deny Christ. There is no other option available.

This should be an easy test. After all, we know the correct answer, but knowing and doing are two different things. I sometimes think we fool ourselves into thinking that no action is the best action, but we now know that is not the case. James 4:17 tells us, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. We know it is good to deny ourselves, and failing to do so is sin. We must make a choice, and whether we pass or fail the test is dependent on that one question: what will you do today?

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. - Luke 9:23

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