The Principal, The Teacher, The Tutor and the Textbook
Picture a student sitting at a desk. The student finds himself in a school headed by a stern, demanding principal. In this school, mistakes are not tolerated and the only way to get a passing grade is to achieve perfection. Our student is dismayed. He senses that to attain perfection on the assignments is impossible, no matter how much he studies, no matter how hard he tries. In his heart he knows that failure is only one miniscule mistake away.
Fortunately, our stern principal has a soft heart. He gives the student three things: a teacher, a tutor and a textbook. The teacher and the tutor sit quietly in the room watching the boy. The boy tries over and over again to succeed on his own, but failure is his only reward. He reads the textbook, full of stories about the teacher, but it’s all so confusing. Finally, at the suggestion of a fellow student, he asks for help.
Immediately the tutor sits quietly at his side and begins whispering guidance in his ear. As the tutor speaks, the boy begins to understand the book; his level of respect for the teacher grows. He wants to be as much like the teacher as he can, and that increases his desire to do exceptionally well on the test. Sometimes what the tutor says makes the boy feel completely at ease. Other times the boy rejects what the tutor says, and puts his own answer down. The working and reworking leaves his paper smudged and dirty, with a hodgepodge of right and wrong answers.
The bell rings; the principal appears at the door. The boy trembles. The principal holds the power of the pass/fail decision. It all comes down to this moment. The teacher, all the while watching the boy struggle with the tutor, reaches into a red folder and hands the principal a perfect paper, with the boy’s name on it.
Pass – with distinction.
The Bible says we have already failed the test (For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23). No matter how hard we try, we can’t get to heaven on our own (For by grace are you saved through faith. It is the gift of God, not of works – so that no one can boast – Ephesians 2:8-9). The gift of God is his Son, Jesus Christ who is the way to heaven (I am The Way, The Truth and The Life. No man comes to the Father except by Me - John 14:6). He makes it possible for us to be saved (For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life – John 3:16). Once we’re saved, we are guided by the Holy Spirit (And I will pray to the Father and he will give you a Helper who will be with you forever – John 14:16).
Ask for help – you’ll be surprised how much you get!