It starts at a young age. This is your room. This is your sister’s room. The new baby got a present, so here is one for you too. Our team won because we got more points than the other team. You got two A’s and one B on your report card, but your brother got three A’s. The North Sales Team sold more, but the South Sales Team made fewer mistakes on paperwork. Department A helped Department B more than Department C.
Not all of these things are necessarily wrong. Some are good in their context. Individually they may show love, give motivation, or promote team camaraderie; but we have become obsessed with keeping score in areas where we shouldn’t. This is my job. This is yours. Let’s talk about teamwork, but that doesn’t mean we have to live it.
We are taught that true love turns the other cheek, but we still keep track of how many times we have turned it. We are taught to forgive, but we never forget. We are taught to show love and kindness, but we rationalize that doing nothing is kindness when it means not giving someone what we think they deserve. We keep track of how many times things affect us instead of others.
Scripture gives the answer to every issue in our life. There are many records in the Bible I could point to for insight on keeping score, but today I believe it is all summed up in this one verse. Parenthetical entries are mine.
“And whatever you do (with family, with friends, at church, at work, in public), do it heartily (sincerely, enthusiastically, cheerfully, with energy, WITHOUT KEEPING SCORE), as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).
We don’t have to keep score. God will take care of it for us; and in the end, HE WINS.