Dear Younger Me,
You may hear people say that life is a test. Today I want to reassure you that it is not!
Of course there will be testing times, but life itself is not a test. It’s not about doing enough good deeds or avoiding enough bad deeds. It’s not about achieving certain standards or competing to be better than others.
Do you remember that test your English teacher gave the class a couple of years ago? He told you that the test was going to take place the following day and that the pass mark was going to be 100%! Anyone who failed the test would receive extra homework.
It was interesting to witness people’s reactions. Of course the general response was, “That’s not fair,” but no-one dared to say it to his face. Many people gave up there and then – there was no way they were going to get 100% no matter how hard they worked, so why bother? Some decided to do their best – getting 100% was unlikely, but at least they could aim for a respectable mark and do better than others. A few were determined to give it a shot and aim for perfection.
I’m sure you remember how it worked out – everyone failed the test. One girl only lost one mark, but the consequences were the same for her as for everyone else.
If life was a test, that’s the sort of test it would be.
If you want to come to God based on your goodness and your achievement, the pass mark is 100%, and we both know you’re never going to get there!
But here’s where it’s different – fortunately God is way, way nicer than your English teacher! 🙂
He knew that no-one could ever reach the perfect standard, no-one could ever pass the test, so he sent Jesus. Jesus did pass the test – he lived the perfect life, and when he died on the cross, he took the penalty for all of our sin and imperfection.
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT)
He took our imperfect marks, and offers us his 100%. The only question that matters is whether we choose to accept that.
You already have, so you have nothing to worry about. It’s always good to be looking for ways to improve, to be seeking to grow and develop – in Ephesians 4:1, Paul encourages us to “live a life worthy of the calling” we have received – but please stop striving to achieve perfection by yourself.
Life is not a test – the outcome is already certain because of Jesus.
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019.
Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “test.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.