Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved. (2 Tim. 2:15)

Very few people know that I was once the honor graduate at the US Army cook school at Fort Dix, New Jersey. After months of training, the trainees cooked a meal that would be served to the base commander for inspection—and ingestion. After a long set of tests, we were given the menu that was to be prepared: breaded pork chops and a variety of side dishes. The goal was to have everything finished at the assigned time, hot things hot and cold things cold. All the utensils, pots, and pans were to be cleaned and put away, and we were to present ourselves at attention alongside our prepared meal.

The last thing to be cooked was the breaded pork chop. My fellow soldiers put their meat in the fryer, and then went outside for a smoke. I stayed behind and watched mine turn a golden brown. As we all presented our masterpieces, it was easy to see why the honor came to me as the colonel looked down the line at my beautiful golden brown chop in the midst of some very dark, overcooked competitors.

Following proven methods and presenting well, will be rewarded. In the Christian life, meeting God’s approval requires a sustained attention to his direction.

Work so that you can stand approved unto God.

Rich Eckley is professor of theology at Houghton College and serves on the Women in Ministry Task Force for The Wesleyan Church.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.