Everything’s a Test
My mother used to say that when you squeeze a toothpaste tube, toothpaste comes out. What she meant was, what is in your heart will come out when pressure is applied.
It’s a simple concept, but how often do you really understand it. Are we surprised when a burst of anger, hurtful talk, lies, or cruelty comes out of our mouths? Under pressure, what is in our hearts comes out of our mouths and sometimes it comes out in something other than words.
Pressure tests what is in our hearts.
After people have been married for a number of years, they often develop little codes to tell each other something. Tim and I have several of those little intimacies. We sometimes ask each other, “Do you think this is a test?” We always answer, “Everything’s a test.” The exchange comes from a play Tim was a few years ago called “The Journey”. At one point in the story one of the characters says to the other, “Do you think this is a test?” The answer was, “Everything’s a test, Snedge.”
The Lord will test our hearts to see what is in there. The Bible is full of stories of people’s hearts being tested. Just this morning I read the story about Joseph testing his brothers when they came to buy food from him in Egypt.
Abraham was tested.
Jacob was tested.
David was tested.
Solomon was tested.
Mary was tested.
Peter was tested.
Paul was tested.
Some of these people passed their tests, some of them didn’t.
Everyone is tested.
The ultimate question is not whether you passed the test or not, but what did you do after you failed a test?
Paul says there is a godly sorry that leads to repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
When the pressure is applied, may what comes out be full of grace and mercy. Here is a remedy for you. When your tube gets squeezed, may this be what shows up.