I’ve had a little time to reflect on some of the content from the Mockingbird Fall conference of 2011. Something was bugging me a little about a few of the conversations I had at the conference, and I realize what it is. A few people expressed the notion that this idea of avoiding scorekeeping was true, and really convicting, and it would be hard to do. When I hear that kind of talk, I realize that I am listening to the reaction to LAW. How can that be?
First, this is not a criticism of the message at the conference. People take Jesus’ life and message, and Paul’s letters, and make law out of them. The problem is, avoiding scorekeeping is not the aim. Here’s an important verse from 2 Opinions 3:16:
“In this is love, that you avoid scorekeeping and measuring your progress and worth.”
In some instances, the practicalities of life, even under grace, demand counting and measuring progress. We count our church giving. We count database system down time. This is not necessarily a sign of a lack of grace. Even though there are fat people, every instance of eating is not an instance of gluttony. So, how do we tell the difference between good scorekeeping and bad scorekeeping?
Forget it! Grace isn’t about you doing or not doing stuff! Grace is about GOD loving you! If you operate under the rubric of grace, that God unconditionally and absolutely loves you, that you are justified forever at the great cost of Christ’s blood, you will have no problem dropping off harmful forms of scorekeeping. I know it is simplistic, but I think it is true.
Does this negate all the great stuff which was said about scorekeeping at the conference? Of course not. They are talking about the kind of scorekeeping by which you measure your worth and significance, and under grace we need only count what honors God. I’m just saying, we are hopeless in trying to avoid scorekeeping, part of our death is recognizing that we are going to do it.
23Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
In a way, we are wired to keep score, but we can turn this to recognizing the evidence and grace.