Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Columnists

June 19, 2014

Keith Wishum: Ready for the test

AMERICUS — “The teacher gave me a copy of the test with all the answers!” Becky announced to her friends.

“You’re kidding,” replied Russ, “that’s awesome!”

“Too cool!” Grace added.

Test day rolled around and all three failed the exam. What happened? How could anyone who knew what questions would be on the test and what the answers were still fail the test?

The explanation is simple. The students never bothered to actually use the information they had been given. They didn’t study. Seems pretty foolish, doesn’t it?

As a former teacher, I can tell you that this really happens. As a minister, I can tell you that it happens in a more important setting as well.

Our Creator took the time to give us a book containing all the test questions of life with the answers included. As a society, we even recognize that. A recent Gallup poll says that 65 percent of Americans believe “that the Bible answers all or most of the basic questions of life.”

Yet, here’s the kicker  — we don’t read it! The same poll says that 41 percent of us rarely or never read the Bible. Only 16 percent read it daily.

If I understand the survey results correctly, we are saying that we recognize that we have the answers to the test, but we aren’t willing to take time to read them. The number one reason that we ignore the Bible, according to the poll is that many are “just not interested.”

What a pity! Not interested in life that lasts forever. Not interested in love, forgiveness or hope. Not interested in learning to cope with stress, how to make friends or how to make a marriage last a lifetime. Not interested in finding the keys to raising good, successful children. Not interested in being a better employer or employee, or any of the other myriad answers the Bible provides to our most pressing questions.

Jesus once warned some who would ignore him, “There is a judge for him who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day” (John 12: 48).

On that day, we will be judged by the words of Jesus. Doesn’t it make great sense to know what they are?

When was the last time you studied for the big test? We offer study sessions regularly at church and you are welcome to join us.

Keith Wishum is minister of Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.

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