Day 1: Am I Offering my Best to God?
I would be embarrassed if you saw my high school transcript. The truth of the matter is, I didn’t care all that much about school. I wanted to be a dairy farmer, and who needs algebra to milk cows? I believed that so much that I failed Algebra I and had to take it in summer school to graduate on time! That wasn’t my most pleasant summer.
There was this girl in my high school class (it was a very small school where everyone knew everyone) named Mary. She never met an algebra, geometry, calculus, or trigonometry problem she couldn’t solve. I never met one I cared about.
Every six weeks at “report card time,” I would bring my report card home for my mother or father to sign. My mother would always say, “Is this your best?” Sometimes I would lie and say “yes.” Most of the time I would tell the truth and own up to the fact that it wasn’t.
It never dawned on me at the time, but I don’t ever remember my mother saying “What did Mary make on this test?” My mother was a substitute teacher and knew Mary and her mathematic skills, but she never once asked, “Is this how well Mary did?” It was always “Is that the best you can do?”
Sometimes she would misquote (from the KJV) 2 Timothy 2:15 and say, “Don’t you know the Bible says ‘Study to show yourselves approved unto God?” But in practice, she actually modeled what that text really means “Do your best to present yourself to God“ (ESV).
The truth is, God really doesn’t care if I’m as good a Bible scholar as N.T. Wright is! What He does care about is that I’m doing the very best that I can. That’s true for every one of us. The question isn’t can I sing as well as someone else, hit a baseball as far as a teammate, preach as well as she can, or whatever. It simply is “am I offering my best to God?”
God doesn’t play the comparison game. Neither should we!
Written by Wye Huxford, Vice President of Spiritual Formation and Dean of Chapel