Let's Stop Keeping Score

By: Blake Hudspeth
The fear of man is the beginning of restlessness. An empty promise. A hole that no amount of affirmation or achievements can fill. It can fuel our choices and fill our thoughts until our entire imagination is engorged with it like a tick. But it will leave us depleted.

This fear is like a hidden scorecard we carry in our heart. For some, the scorecard is filled with boxes to check about salary or titles or square footage. For others, it is about children (how many and how educated) or theological acumen or likes and shares. If we check enough boxes, maybe we will be worthy of affirmation and love from others. We filter comments, criticisms, and decisions through our hidden scorecard.

            That scorecard is a thief. It keeps us from loving others. And it steals our ability to receive their love.

            It’s hard for me to love you if I’m afraid of you. Not sincerely love you, anyway. I can’t care about you all that much if I’m afraid about what you think of my scorecard. I’d be too busy weighing what you say and how you say it. What you think (and what you might be thinking…or what I think you might be thinking). It’s all very exhausting. And there is a better way.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God… There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:1, 18-19)

The greatest thing we can do with our scorecards is to write across every inch of them, in bright red, permanent marker, “Because of Jesus, I am already perfectly loved. I am already wholly accepted. I am not destined for wrath.”

Only when we embrace the magnitude of God’s love for us does fear begin to shrink in our hearts. The never-changing God of Scripture thinks well of you. So, don’t bother fearing the ever-changing opinion of others. Let it be cast off.

Some days, it will seem like sweeping breadcrumbs into a trash can. Other days, the fear will come out in heaps. What matters is that we allow the love of God to perfect us. And that can’t be done with a scorecard. It can only be done with a bloody cross and an empty tomb.
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