This will be on the final exam

March 15, 2010

I heard a former NFL coach say that the most important thing about the scouting combine is that it gives the scouts and coaches an opportunity to look the players in the eye and see what kind of character they have. “Their speed in the 40 is highly overrated,” he said. “What is most important is the interview.” The most important consideration for coaches looking to draft a young player to their team is their character? Maybe that’s because there is so little of it.
It is the same in the job market. When two equally skilled people compete for the same job, the person who gives the best interview usually lands it. One professional said there are five red flags for him in an interview, any one of which is a deal-breaker. Even if the candidate is imminently qualified, he won’t get the job if: 1 — He talks too much; 2 — She doesn’t have a basic understanding of the company; 3 — He is not wearing a suit; 4 — She begs for the job; 5 — He doesn’t know how to communicate why he would be a good fit for the company. I would suggest that each of those “flags” indicate character problems of selfishness, laziness, carelessness, insecurity, and laziness (again)!
In the NFL combine or the professional interview, the question is, does the man or woman reflect the resume? The employer is trying to get a look at the heart, the character, the real deal. God does the same.
David asked God in Psalm 15, “Lord, who may abide with You? Who is able to stand in Your presence?” He was not asking God how to be saved from his sins. That only comes by grace through faith, which cannot be earned by any man or woman. Christ paid for it on the cross. David was asking how he could know that he belonged to God. “Lord, what is the character of a life that you approve? How can I live in such a way to enjoy the fullness of your fellowship?”
I have a warning for any of you dear readers who might entertain these thoughts: “I don’t care about the ‘fullness of his fellowship.’ I just want to make sure I am in. That when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. I want to live my life on my own terms, but I also want to go to heaven when I die.” If that is the attitude of your heart, it calls into question whether you have ever known true repentance. When the Spirit of God comes in, he doesn’t just take up space; he takes over. There is a change in a man’s thought patterns, actions, desires, motives, goals, and affections when he has been born again. Many think they have invited the Lord into their lives but in essence have said to him, “Stay in this closet in the basement, please, so as not to get in the way with how I want to live my life; when I need you, I will come and get you.” No, regeneration results in “extreme makeover,” and there are dire consequences for all who would pretend. As Charles Spurgeon said, “To own Him in our profession (what we say) and deny Him in our practice (how we live) is, with Judas, to betray Him with a kiss.”
Read Psalm 15 and see how your walk, your talk, your values, and how you handle money will stand as evidence of life-change. And yes, Virginia, there is a final exam. All who truly know God will pass.

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