God’s Scoreboard

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

I enjoyed watching the Olympics and was proud of the tremendous victories of Team USA.  It was really interesting to watch a lot of sports that I don’t see often.

What intrigued me most was the variety of scoring systems in different sports.  USA was the big winner in gymnastics, but I had trouble keeping score.  Watching those men and women perform on the balance beam, floor exercise, the rings, etc., was amazing.  But I couldn’t tell the exact score.  Even the TV commentators predicted scores but the judges did not agree.  The same thing occurred in diving, synchronized swimming and other sports.

But the winners came from those who understood the scoring system and won based on how the sport was scored.  You have to understand the scoring system to compete effectively.  I might go out this afternoon and play a game and score a 75.  That would be real good if I were playing golf – it would be very poor if I were bowling!

In sports you have to understand the scoring system.  Do you need more points or fewer points than your opponent?  I have a grandson who was on last year’s state champion cross country team.  His team had the lowest score and won the state championship by one point.  You want a low score in cross country because it indicates your runners finished ahead of the others.  I have other grandchildren playing football, baseball and soccer.  Their teams try to score a lot of points because the team with the most points wins.  In most of the running events in track, the lowest score wins.  In soccer and in diving, the highest score wins.

The most important game is the game of life.  God has a different scoring system than we do.  If we are going to win at this most important game, we must understand God’s scoring system.  It is very different from our scoring system.  Here are some examples:

  1. Giving versus getting.  The world says we should strive to get all we can, and we measure success by how much a person gets.  God’s scoring system is exactly the opposite.  He says it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).  He says, “For anyone who keeps his life for himself shall lose it; and anyone who loses his life for me shall find it again” (Matt. 16:25).  The givers win – the getters lose.
  2. Being served versus serving.  The world’s scoring system counts how many people are serving you.  God’s scoring system is the opposite (Read Matt. 20:28).   He doesn’t count the number of people that serve a  person, but rather how many each of his followers serve.  Successful business people are not those who have the most people working for them, but those who are willing to work for the most people.
  3. Strength versus weakness.  The world says the strongest will prevail.  God’s scoring system is different.  He says that power is not in our own strength but in our willingness to trust and obey Him.  When we think we are strong, we develop pride and overestimate what we can do.  When we recognize what we can’t do, we turn to God and trust His power.  God’s scoring system is not based on size, strength or numbers, but on obedience and trust in Him.  Paul wrote, “When I am weak, then I recognize my real strength” (2 Cor. 12:9-10).  Read the story of Gideon in Judges 6.

Albert Einstein once said, “Everything that counts can’t be counted, and everything that can be counted doesn’t always count.”  If you want to be a winner – you must follow God’s scoring system.

What’s the score?

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