I confess, in high school, I followed two different ways to ace a test. In one, I learned. In the other, I had only the appearance of learning.
For math classes, my favorite subject, I listened intently, asked questions, and made sure I understood how every rule applied. Therefore, I never had to study. My test scores were always perfect, because I already knew all the material. We could label this practice: Plan A.
History, on the other hand, was my least favorite subject. I paid little attention in class because I saw little use for the information. What value did all the dates, places, and famous dead people have to do with me anyway? Since I didn’t care, I took my book home but never opened it. Nevertheless, I made A’s on my tests by following Plan B: (1) Get up very early on the day of the test. (2) Commit events, names, dates, and places to short-term memory. (3) In class, fill in the test blanks and then walk out the door, forgetting everything.
I wonder how many Christians are more concerned about looking good than they are about being good. Jesus looked at the most highly respected church leaders of his day and called them “whitewashed tombs” (Matthew 23:27). Evidently, they weren’t passionate about a real relationship with God, so Plan B was a good choice.
Could it be that the Bible’s encouragement for us to mediate on God’s Word (Psalm 119) is telling us we should always follow Plan A?