SHOW YOUR WORK
Prayer: Dear Lord, Please help me to remember the parts of my testimony that will be a blessing to each person that I meet today. Thank You. Amen.
Scripture: If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 1 Corinthians 3:12-14 12 NIV
When I was in school, I used to hate tests where the teacher required us to “Show our work.” I hated this for several reasons. First of all, it took more time. If I knew how to do the problem, then I knew I could come up with the answer more quickly if I did not have to show every step of the work that I had to go through to get me to the solution. Secondly, it took away the option of a lucky guess, especially on multiple choice questions. Maybe I did not know exactly how to solve the problem but a little common sense could rule out some of the wrong answers, and I could guess from there. Lastly, I never understood how it was fair that I might come up with the correct answer but get penalized for a missed or incorrect step in my work. If I go the right answer; who cares? Right? Well not exactly.
The teacher wanted to see my work to make sure I fully understood how to get to the solution; that way, when I face a similar type of problem, I could solve it.
I have found the value of this technique throughout life. I have faced many problems that I would have liked to have plugged in a quick solution and moved on but by putting in some extra time to work trough the steps of the problem I have learned some new things, met some great people and grown stronger in my relationship with God through the experience not just in the solution.
Likewise, in giving people advice such as, “Just trust God.” I have been asked to prove my answer. Although the answer was 100 percent correct I needed to show proof of how I came to that solution. I have had many opportunities in my life where the solution was to trust God, so I have my testimony from each experience to share as proof that the solution works.
It is a good idea to consider how to prepare your testimony for the time when you are called on to “show your work.” It is a good lesson in how to bring your life experiences, both struggles and victories, together to write down your testimony.
Fortunately, as Christians we can rely on God for the miracles. So what kind of “work” are we expected to do: Obedience, perseverance, humility, patience, and/or even a short time of suffering. Just remember that our times of suffering are always short in comparison to our eternal time in heaven.
Like the tests that penalized me for skipping steps to get to the solution, my testimony would not be as strong, as glorifying, or as meaningful if I had skipped the step of suffering. When searching for answers do you just take solutions at face value or do you ask questions for proof that the solution is correct? Have you ever been asked for proof in giving advice? My prayer for you is that you would be prepared to show your work.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org