Scorekeeping under Grace

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.

Posted in Blog.


  1. Great post Jim
    And the scripture reference was great
    Your point to our propensity in keeping score is so true how can
    we not in this world ?
    I have the desre to Not keep score but instead I do keep score.
    there seems to be a war in my mind to not keep score but instead
    I keep score
    Round and round I go (Romans 7)
    Who shall free me from this tug of war?
    The answer is Jesus He destroyed the handwriting of ordinances
    against us (the score sheet) and declares “game over”
    Declare (speak,think,believe) yourselves dead indeed to sin and
    Alive in Christ
    It is no longer I but He who is alive in me
    This simple declaration by faith in believing in the price Jesus paid
    Is the Victory “we win” “game over”
    The Score is settled
    To good to be true?
    No! It is true !
    Thanks be unto Him!
    Jesus Jesus Jesus sweetest name I know

    • Great comment Ken! It is so easy to believe that I am greatly loved, and that that is essentially all I must do. Obviously there is bad scorekeeping and there is good scorekeeping, and the only way to keep them properly separate is to act and think from the base that we are the beloved bride of Christ.

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