Is God Keeping Score?
“LORD, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.”
– Psalm 130:3-4
As a young baseball player, I found myself on the losing end of a lot of games. Many times my team had the mindset of losers, and our attitudes showed that we had lost the game long before the seventh inning. We went through the motions to the finish, but we were defeated long before the end of the game.
Perhaps many of us live as if God were keeping score, as if He has His own scoreboard with everyone’s name on it. One side lists “Good Works” and the other “Sins/Bad Things.” Can you imagine if eternal life depended on being perfect or trying to make sure all our good outweighed our bad? We would be like my little league team: living in defeat with no hope.
As a believer in Christ, are you tempted to think God is keeping score—that you have to do better in order for Him to love you? We may know intellectually that we are forgiven, but let’s think about the way we live. It’s normal for us to try to “prove ourselves” in life, especially in athletics. Perhaps you play or played for a coach you could never please. Breaking news! God is not keeping score, at least not for those who have put their faith in Him and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 130:4 says, “But with You there is forgiveness so that You may be revered.” Think about someone who showed you mercy. Maybe a coach or teacher who chose not to give you what you deserved. How did that make you feel? That is our God! If God were counting our iniquities, as the Psalmist says in verse 3, “who could stand?” We would suffer the ultimate defeat with no hope of eternal life! But Romans 5:8 says, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
Why did Jesus die? Because we were hopeless losers, dead in our transgressions and sins, behind on the spiritual scoreboard by thousands of runs we could never erase. But God, in His mercy, sent His one and only Son to die in our place. We win! And the victory results in reverence or worship of Him. He wants our hearts and is merciful and compassionate to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now that you know it, go out and live like a winner in Christ!
1. Can you think of an act of mercy you have received from a coach? How did you respond?
2. As an athlete or coach, have you ever been on a team with a losing attitude? How did you break a losing mindset? What difference does a winning mindset make on your team?
3. How can we practically live in a winning mindset with the assurance that God has forgiven us and is not keeping score?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Derrill Martin is an FCA Area Director in St. Charles, Missouri.