Thoughts of...Keeping Score
People love to keep score. Whether we are watching a professional sporting event or involved in a “friendly” family card game, keeping score is very important to most of us. How else can we delineate between winners and losers? Sometimes the margin of victory is wide, like most Super Bowls, and sometimes it is razor thin. However, the margin of victory is irrelevant. All that matters is winning.
Keeping score has less subtle and more insidious forms, too. We also delineate between winners and losers based on demographic characteristics. Young is better than old. Slim is better than chunky. Tall is better than short. Strong is better than weak. “Gifted” IQ is better than average IQ. Blonde is better than brunette. White-collar is better than blue-collar. Rich is better than poor.
By keeping scores such as these, we divide ourselves from and elevate ourselves above other people. Thankfully, God does not play favorites like we do (Acts 10:34-36, 2 Chron 19:4-7, Rom 2:9-11). To the Lord, nobody is a nobody (2 Peter 3:9). Everybody is a somebody (John 3:14-17, Mark 3:33-35, John 11:25-26). But nobody is a self-sufficient somebody (Eph 2:8-9, Mark 8:38).
None of the insipid scores based on demographics are true and none will matter at the end of The Day when the Truth reigns on earth. The old are as valued to the Lord as the young (Lev 19:32, Prov 16:31, Titus 2:1-6, Matt 19:13-14). A winning score in height does not always mean victory. Consider the career of King Saul as a whole (1 Sam 9:1-2, 1 Sam 16:14-16, 1 Sam 28, 1 Sam 31:1-4) and the confrontation between Goliath and a young boy named David in particular (1 Sam 17). The competitive pursuit of a winning “Charles Atlas” or super model body is self-centered folly (1 Tim 4:7-8). We are strong when we are weak (1 Cor 1:25-29, 2 Cor 12:7-10). The Lord “gifts” us according to His sovereign will, with His love being the greatest gift (1 Cor 12-14). All work is a blessing from the Lord and all workers work for the Lord (Eccl 3:13, Col 3:22-24). The Lord has made both the rich and the poor (Prov 22:2) and His heart reaches out to both the poor (Prov 22:16, Matt 5:3,Is 66:1-2, Prov 13:7, 2 Cor 8:9, Eph 1:3) and the rich (Eccl 5:10-12, Prov 22:1, James 5:1-9, 1 Tim 6:6-10, Ps 49:1-3).
Demographics divide men into many different groups. But no demographic separates man from God. Sin does that (Is 59:1-2). Sin produced imperfection and corruption and death. And sin piled up an overwhelming score (James 2:10)! For every person on earth, sin is the only score that needs to be settled.
God told us the way to score higher than sin – be perfect (Matt 5:48). Well, let’s give that some thought. Being perfect is like rolling a 300 score EVERY time you stepped in a bowling alley. Being perfect is like hitting a home run with EVERY swing of the bat. It’s like scoring a hole-in-one with EVERY swing of the golf club. It’s like beating the game of solitaire EVERY time you played it. So much for beating sin! We are hopelessly defeated and, thus, are all losers in the contest to reconcile ourselves to God (Rom 3:10, Rom 3:23). Had we not gotten Divine help by Jesus Christ giving us His perfect score, we would have remained dead in our sin (1 Peter 1:18-19, 2 Cor 5:21, Ps 32:1-2, Eph 2:1-5, Rom 4:13-25, 2 Cor 5:17-19). We have been supernaturally transformed from losers into winners by the love, grace, and power of God!