Saturday, May 17, 2008

Life the CPA Way?

Another offering in English. Swedish is just too demanding...

I'm a CPA. That's a certified public accountant.

In order to pass the CPA exam, a candidate must give their entire life to earning a bachelor's degree (normally in accounting). This means endless hours of sitting in the library or business building basement trying to figure out why the debits don't match the credits by $50 and wondering to yourself why you really even care.

Then after years of kicking yourself for self-inflicted torture, you graduate. But even then, you're not a CPA. You still have to endure a test that some accountant/lawyers will tell you is harder than the bar exam. And what do you find yourself doing now that you've finally graduated? Studying! You have no life. (Not that you had one before, because getting the bachelor's degree took care of that...) You eat auditing standards. You sleep business law. You consider naming your dog Becker. (Okay, maybe you'll only get that if you're an accountant.) When someone says, "I'm thinking about selling my house", you can't help pondering whether they've met the 2 of 5 years rule for the capital gain exclusion.

For all the hype, the CPA exam really is that difficult! Because, after you have spent hours studying for your degree, hours studying for the CPA exam, and 4 hours sitting for 1 of the 4 portions of the test you get your scores back.

I'm sorry you failed!

Candidates need a 75% to pass and you got a 74%. I believe that's roughly equivalent to one mistake on the test! ALL THAT WORK AND ONE MISTAKE SHOOTS A CANDIDATE DOWN! A colleague of mine actually did get a 74%---twice!

God doesn't work that way.

Aren't we glad?

Imagine if our salvation hinged upon our own efforts? We're talking heaven or eternal suffering here. I think we would be even more consumed when it came to studying to make sure we didn't fail than we ever would with the CPA exam.

But our God gives us grace! God's report card for us hinges upon what His Son did on the cross. Do you have Jesus? You're spotless. We can't improve upon what Jesus did. Why do we try so hard to outdo Jesus then?

I'm a CPA. Studying, working hard and producing mistake-free work is part of the gig. My tendency, unfortunately, is to let that pour over into my life as a Christian. Do you do this too?

Do you think that doing great works for God will get Him to notice you more? Do you think that studying your Bible 1 hour more in 2008 than in 2007 will convince God that you're worthy of a spiritual raise?

Let's look on the flip side. If you lose your temper and yell at God for not letting things go your way---does God forget that He's prepared a place for you for eternity?

Whether good or bad, we can't do anything to change God's view of us. He views us as complete; perfect through the blood of His Son Jesus. Working harder like a CPA on spiritual things, changes nothing. One mistake in your walk will not cause you to fail God's Good Christian Exam with only a 74%.

Praise God that it is His faithfulness and His works on the cross that governs how He sees us!

2 comments:

Domestically Inclined said...

Bravo! Our God is faithful God. Pastor Bob was just teaching on Romans 3 and used the Jumping to Hawaii example to get to the same conclusion....we cannot earn grace, it is free!

Josh Via said...

Stephen,
Good stuff, man. Some great posting going on. Thanks for the commment. You never know who you'll run across these days. Blessings bro.

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