Everyone Gets Tested (Not Everyone Passes)

Everyone gets tested. Ordained ministers get tested. Soldiers, sailors, and Marines get tested. High School and college graduates get tested. Lawyers get tested. Police officers get tested. Corrections officers get tested. Pilots get tested. Drivers get tested. Do followers of Jesus get tested? And, if so, does everyone pass the test? To get personal, will I pass the test?

Let me answer those questions. Yes, followers of Jesus get tested. No, not everyone passes. But, yes, you can pass the test. As C. S. Lewis so eloquently put it: “The promise of glory is the promise, almost incredible and only possible by the work of Christ, that some of us, that any of us who really chooses, shall actually survive that examination, shall find approval, shall please God” (italics added).[1]

But not everyone passes the test. Listen to what the author of Hebrews says (12:16-17): “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected.”

The word translated as “rejected” is a quality control word. It refers to something that cannot be used for its intended purpose because it has not passed quality or safety testing. The way Esau responded to a difficult circumstance indicated a flaw in his character. He was not yet a person to whom God could safely entrust his blessing. His response to the test showed that, in a critical moment, he would not turn to God but would turn elsewhere. It was his faith that was tested and it was found wanting.

Esau’s trial – so mundane and familiar – was a test of faith. It tested his trust in God, his dependence on him, and the integrity of the connection between him and God. We can get the idea that people who pass the test prove that they are smart or that they are spiritual or that they are strong. Not so. What is being tested – whether the test is mundane or exotic, familiar or extraordinary – is a person’s faith: his or her trust in God. It will help you to remember that.

[1] C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.


About salooper57

Husband, father, pastor, follower. I am a disciple of Jesus, learning how to do life from him. I read, write, walk, play a little guitar, enjoy my family.
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