I’ll never apply to work for Google. I’m pretty happy with the job I have, so I’m just not in the market. Even if I was, I probably wouldn’t get past the aptitude test. When you apply for a job at Google, part of the process includes the completion of an aptitude test to determine if you are Google material. While the actual test questions likely change on a regular basis, some of the questions I’ve seen from these tests include loads of complicated math and logic questions. Some are seemingly random—“Why are manhole covers round?”—while others are meant to assess your capacity to think logically and to an audience—“Explain what a database is to an eight year old kid.” Some are meant to plumb your creativity—“Write a haiku describing possible methods for predicting search traffic seasonality.”
When you look over all the questions Google asks, one thing becomes pretty clear: To work at Google, you have to be some kind of genius.
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t expect the same of all of us? It’s the beauty of the relationship He wants with all His children. You don’t have to be the smartest guy in the room. He loves us without condition and when He saves us, he does so not because we’re so good, but because He is so good.
Even in the early days of the 1st Century church, there were people who believed they had special access to God that others did not. Without getting lost in the weeds of it all, they were the Gnostics who thought they had a leg up on everyone else—from God’s mouth to their ears only. Gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge,” and the Gnostics claimed they had a knowledge no one else had of God and His ways. Imagine a part of the body of Christ today who believe they have a more special understanding of God that allows them to know more than the next person. Imagine a church with members who think less of those who know less than they do; a church based on separation, special insight, secret psychic rituals and handshakes. Most of us would reject such a body.
While Christians enjoy a special relationship with God and his Son, they should want everyone to know how to gain salvation. Being special in the body simply means you are a part of the body. Belonging to God makes us special, but it shouldn’t make us feel superior. We all come to God broken. No special knowledge is required. Our relationship with God begins in the simplest of terms: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
The body of Christ is a place where folks can be accepted. We can all find our place in the body even though we constantly fall short. When we fail, Jesus and His love step in. He took our place when He chose to die on a cross. He took the punishment for us, something we’re reminded of by Paul: “He put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so that we could be put right with God.” (II Cor. 5:21) This doesn’t mean tolerating ongoing sinful behavior without that behavior being challenged. Look at the rest of II Cor. 5, and you see what happens to a church that ignores sin by believers. But the church is a collection of sinners who can find peace and assurance through mercy, not merit. It’s all about the grace.
And that seems like something for which we should all be really, really thankful.