earning points, keeping score

IMG_0050Stylistically, I'm going to change the way I title posts on my blog this year. It might not seem like much, and I might not like it as time goes on, but I think it's the little tweaks to our lives that make more of an impact over a longer period of time than the big lifechanges everyone tends to toss out as "new year's resolutions". One of the minor tweaks I made, late in high school or early in college, so mid-80s or so, was to do all my handwriting in caps – except for "I" which I would dot as lowercase "i". It has stuck with me ever since, my own notebooks filled with lowercase i's, the occasional lowercase e's and mostly all caps for anything else. So while lowercase post titles might not be that important in the grand scheme of things, it just might be something that actually sticks.

Meanwhile, a phrase that I hope "sticks" in 2009 is something I heard earlier in 2008 and then re-heard listening to a podcast on the way home the other day. It was from the God Journey guys, from a message on how God is different than us, how He loves us no matter what. My paraphrase is this: "We keep trying to earn points with Someone who isn't even keeping score". That describes a great deal in religious circles, in political and cultural circles, in families and workplaces. We try to earn points, and whether we know it or not we keep score.

But more and more, I'm discovering that God's not like that. In the first place, we couldn't score enough points to get on His "good side". Secondly, the only ones we can compare our scores to would be each other, and that's no fun. What if we could live life in a way that just did the right thing because it was the right thing, that made better choices because it was better for all concerned? This is the first chewable thought that's coming to my mind as 2008 turns into 2009, and I want to let it seep in, seep out of the living that's done this coming year.

[Check out the "Transition" recordings from Wayne Jacobsen if you're interested – that's where I first heard the "earning points for Someone not keeping score" line/point. Free MP3s or streaming.]

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4 thoughts on “earning points, keeping score

  1. Michelle says:

    “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. For they that do this are not wise.”
    Thanks for the 2 great thoughts this first 2009 morning:
    1. God cares more about our heart attitude than our “appearance.”
    2. Stop keeping up with the Jones’!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Pam Martin says:

    Great post Rick and great reminder to get off the great scoreboard that we continually keep ourselves on… Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Rick says:

    Thanks back, ladies – appreciate it.

  4. Patrick says:

    This is a really good post, Rick, and something I’ve been considering lately as well. My pastor put it in a similar way last Sunday, when he said, “We serve a God that we KEEP apologizing to for things we’ve done, and God must be thinking, ‘What are you talking about? That’s already gone.'”
    It’s hard sometimes to let go of guilt over things we’ve done, said or thought. And I think we try to gain those points because we feel that even though we’re forgiven, there’s no way we can really be THAT forgiven.
    Thanks for sharing this.

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