The Test

Day 263

Prayer for the day

You are the LORD, most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

Scripture for the day

Ecclesiastes 7-9, 2 Corinthians 13

Christians these days are keen on tests. We love to test whether those we interact with are truly Christians, or if they are pretenders, people who claim to be Christians but who may not fit perfectly into our definition or ideal of Christianity.

While this sounds like a fun past-time, it can be extraordinarily destructive both to our own faith and to the faith of those around us. It does not reflect well on our God.

Contrary to this proclivity, Paul insists that there is only one way to test genuine Christianity, and it has to be self-applied. The way to know, says Paul, is to see whether or not Christ is IN us. That is the core proof of relationship with God: the indwelling of Jesus Christ in the believer through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

And it is not the work of Christians to look at one another until we have done the hard work of looking at ourselves, testing our own faith and our commitment to it.

The writer of Ecclesiastes would likely have a similar thing to say to those to whom he writes. He regularly explains to them that living any kind of life e think is valuable will ultimately not lead to the kind of happiness and fulfilment we’re looking for. Only obedience to God, and not even excessive righteous searching, will actually bring us close to the one who has created all things, even if it is only, in the thought of the writer, for His own inscrutable purposes.

In the end, between the writer of Ecclesiastes and Paul, we get a solid picture of exactly what we are looking for in the life of faith: not so much to judge others as to ensure that we ourselves are living the life we are destined to live.


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