by Kenny Gardner

What does an IQ test measure? Silly question, right? An IQ test measures…IQ. You don’t have to be very smart to know that an IQ test is supposed to measure a person’s IQ. And it does. But, according to a recent article, an IQ test measures more than IQ; it also measures an individual’s motivation! To have a high IQ test score, you have to have both: a high IQ and lots of motivation. People who are very smart but not very motivated usually don’t do very well on IQ tests. And someone who isn’t all that smart but is highly motivated and works hard and always tries to do his best, well, guess what? That kind of person usually does a lot better on an IQ test than you might think.

Of course, you don’t need to do a bunch of research to realize that motivated people who work hard and do their best usually do well, whatever they do. And that’s exactly the kind of people Christians ought to be. God’s word is continually encouraging us and reminding us to do our best. We must be disciplined and dedicated and hard working. Note the resolve of Job, who said: “As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit” (Job 27:3-4 NIV).

The book of Psalms contains many statements of conviction and courage:
  bulletpoint “I have resolved that my mouth will not sin”
    (Psa. 17:3 NIV)
  bulletpoint “I will have nothing to do with evil”
    (Psa. 101:4 NIV)
  bulletpoint “O God my heart is fixed [“steadfast” several translations];
 I will sing and give praise, even with my glory”
    (Psa. 108:1 KJV, ASV)
  bulletpoint “I will call on him as long as I live”
    (Psa. 116:2 NIV)
  bulletpoint “I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments”
    (Psa. 119:106 KJV)
  bulletpoint “I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end”
    (Psa. 119:112 KJV)
  bulletpoint “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end”
    (Psa. 119:112 NIV)
  bulletpoint “I am resolved to fulfill thy statues”
    (Psa. 119:112 NEB)









Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah displayed exemplary courage when told to bow down to the ninety-foot-high golden statue Nebuchadnezzar had made. They boldly claimed that their God was without a doubt able to deliver them, but even if He didn’t, “We will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up,” they affirmed to the king (Daniel 3:17-18). Some might think they weren’t showing much intelligence, but no one can deny they were motivated and determined—and intelligent, even wise, you and I would confidently affirm.

Someone once said, “It takes two hands to take hold of eternal life. You have to let go of everything else” (Jim Bassett). Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” He also stated, “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.” Consider this statement also: “It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don’t have to” (Walter Linn).

Have you taken an IQ test lately? One that measures your motivation to do right, to serve and worship God faithfully? You can take that test anytime you want to; just take the time to take a good, hard look at yourself: your actions, speech, thoughts, and attitudes. Examine yourself, in light of God’s word.

What’s your score?