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  • Writer's pictureLauren Mitchell

Put Your Pencils Down

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

We learn early in school to hate tests. I think the first time I missed a word on a Spelling test and I got back that paper with the red mark, it sealed the deal.

Those tests, they don’t just catalog our areas of weakness. They also indicate areas of our strengths. Having been a teacher for lots of years, I know that tests can be great instruments to assess knowledge a student already possesses. They help hone in on the skills that need improvement, but they also show what they have mastered. Students though, usually only notice what they missed.

That’s me. When assessing myself, I only see what I missed. I can’t celebrate a 95% without being drawn to the 5% I missed and fixating on it. God isn’t like me. He doesn’t have tunnel vision for what I get wrong. He can assess my current state and not focus solely on what needs improvement. He also wants to share with me what I got right.

Can your heart really hear this today? Testing can also be a chance to assess what we have gotten right. It can actually be a tool to encourage our hearts and spur on our obedience.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23 NIV (italics mine)

When I think about God testing me, I want to remember that this verse indicates that He wants to know me, not just correct me. God knowing my heart implies a relationship. I can be transparent with God and be sure that He isn't testing me to mark up in red everything I should have done differently. He wants to help me assess how I can move forward.

I think that waiting times are often test times. I'm going to try to look at them differently. It’s not necessarily that God wants to see how much we believe Him, but more that He wants to reveal to us how much we believe Him.

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