Tutor, Text, and Teacher

I know, my God, that you test people’s hearts. You are happy when people do what is right. (I Chronicles 29:17)

If you have ever bombed a test, you know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach knowing how that 'bombed test' will affect your total 'grade'. Rarely do we get the opportunity for a 'retake' in life's 'tested moments'. There may be that rare opportunity when we do, but most of the time a 'bombed life test' is just that - bombed. It is so wonderful to serve a God who doesn't see a 'bombed test' as our 'final grade'. In fact, he made a way for us to 'redeem' that 'life grade' through the blood of his Son, Jesus! God doesn't 'grade on the curve' - he simply helps us repeat the lesson until we no longer fail the test!

Wouldn't it be nice to never have to 'retake' one of those 'life tests'? It would be like living in heaven! Most of us need those 'retakes' because most of us don't always do well learning the lesson the first time it is taught. We might want to refer to those retakes as 'grace lessons' - the repeated opportunity to learn the lesson regardless of how many times it takes us to grasp what God is teaching us. God is indeed pleased when we get the lesson the first time, but he knows our human nature challenges us to learn some of the most important life lessons.

What is it within our nature that keeps us from learning the first time? If you are anything like me, you have emotions that get in the way at times. I rely upon my feelings a bit too much on occasion, 'feeling' like one choice is better than another, then pursuing the 'feeling'. While that isn't always the case, it happens more than I'd like. Then there is this thing called 'rational thought' that somehow gets in the way of 'faith' in our lives. We put too much of our own 'thinking' into something God is asking us to do and we find ourselves helplessly making wrong choices.

Life lessons come at us from all sides, but when we rely upon the 'tutor' we are given to help us learn them well the first time, we are less likely to have to repeat them. The tutor? The Holy Spirit. The text? The Word of God. The teacher? God himself. The right answer? Following the leading of the Spirit and not the leading of our feelings. We might need a whole lot of retakes in life, but we might just need a few less if we used the text, learned from our tutor, and listened to our teacher! Just sayin!

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