America’s next idol obviously isn’t going to be vocal coach Steven Horst of New York City.

“Idol” judge Randy Jackson stopped Horst’s performance admonishing him that he “shouldn’t be a vocal teacher. I wouldn’t take vocal lessons from you; I wouldn’t tell anybody to take vocal lessons from you.”

Outside the audition room, Horst’s response was not unlike the responses given by many of the other contestants who argued they deserved a chance to be on the show because they either gave the audition their best efforts or simply because they’ve been singing all their lives.

These responses show how easy it is to bow to the altar of a common American dream — namely, if we try hard enough or long enough, we can be good enough.

The truth is even your best efforts often won’t be enough for many people, even if you’ve been doing it all your life. The harsher truth is you even may have been doing it wrong all your life.

The show’s producers know this truth. They use it. They know it makes good drama to pump up a person with self-importance and then lead him to the precipice of fame, only to push them off and let everyone witness the splatter.

So, if hard work or effort doesn’t get the “A,” what does?

One possibility is introduced in the writings of a man who sounded cockier than any of the “Idol” contestants ever sounded. That man was the Apostle Paul. Paul claimed to know the secret to accomplishing all things.

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” he bragged.

How can faith make such a bodacious and preposterous claim? I don’t care if you have Christ, Buddha or Allah, no one person can do all things.

If you read his words in context, you’ll learn Paul had known a life of needy times as well as a life filled with plentiful times. And the “secret of contentment” during those times was the knowledge God would give him the means to accomplish whatever would be necessary to meet his needs.

Thus, Paul could legitimately claim he could do all things.

The kind of contentment Paul knew didn’t come from his personal sense of accomplishment. His contentment was obtained by forging an inner bond between him and his God.

So whether you’re ready to audition for “Idol” or you’re facing an employee evaluation, know God doesn’t measure our abilities with earthbound judges — especially wise-crackin’ judges with British accents.

God evaluates us not on what we can do, but on what we allow God to do through us. That is the only way you can truly do all things.