Sin Scoreboarding

We all know scoreboarders. You know, the guy in the conversation that has to one-up everyone else.

“Oh, you’ve been to Paris? Let me tell you about the time I hiked through Europe. Ah, you got a new car? My car has heated AND air conditioned seats with built in shiatsu massage. So, you saved a kitten caught in a tree? I once ran into a burning building to save an entire Peruvian family …. AND their dog.”

You know …. THAT guy.

I’ve been carrying an irk with me for a while. Every time I see a report about how the Westboro Baptist Church is going to protest someone’s funeral, my shoulders get tight, my face wrinkles, and I get a knot in my stomach. That’s how my body reacts to irks. And that’s what got me to thinking about the idea of sin scoreboarders.

Not unlike the stereotypical Bible-thumper, the sin scoreboarder is someone who finds and measures the degrees of sins you commit. They find righteousness in knowing that by comparison to your sinful ways, they’re living a holy life. Their offenses are small and slight, but yours are sacrilegious and, to use their favorite word, an abomination. They are better Christians than you because they can recite chapter and verse, yet they use scripture to chastise and castigate you, as opposed to focusing on Jesus’ message of love, mercy, and grace.

We are all imperfect. We are all flawed. We are all sinners. To borrow from Joyce Meyer: “People do tend to categorize sin into small, medium, and large. It’s no harder for God to forgive something big than it is something little.” I don’t think God measures the size of your sin before granting you His forgiveness. I don’t think God weighs your past indiscretions before offering you a chance at redemption. God doesn’t keep score of your imperfections.

Rather, God gave us all a clean slate when he offered up His son for our sins. A clean slate which we, by course of our human nature, repeatedly pollute and smear, only to have God come and make it anew once again.

“Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” -Ephesians 2:9

I try really hard to be the last person to pass judgement on any one. My past is one littered with shame, selfishness, and a complete disregard for His word. To this day, I fail every day; In my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. Still, I know His grace and mercy are enduring, and His love for me far exceeds my capacity for failure. God has redeemed me in part because I sought His forgiveness, but mostly because He loves me.

If you’re feeling lost, know that you’re not alone. He is with you. If you’re feeling condemned by the vitriol words of others, know that it is only His opinion of you that matters. I was once broken, and He made me whole again. Regardless of what you have done or what you think of yourself, you can be made whole again, too.

Seek Him. Pray to Him. Find Him in your heart.

Made of Clay

As I sit on my pedestal
A jar made of clay
I invite the danger
As I swing and I sway

The thrill, the allure
The precarious play
For I am hardened and cured
One tough jar made of clay

I think of myself
Every hour, every day
I want what I want
And I want it my way

The cautions are many
I ignore what they say
For I’ll do what I will
And I’ll do what I may

And then there’s a slip
My confidence gives way
And gravity pulls hard
And I fall in dismay

I shatter in pieces
With consequences to weigh
Broken and scattered
My soul in decay

How humble it feels
To see dreams fade away
How broken it feels
To dread the next day

But hope’s not exclusive
It’s His gracious forte
A gift He bestowed
Once I managed to pray

His hands did caress
My now shattered display
And put back together
What I dared throw away

Renewed and redeemed
Is my story today
Cured through His love
Is my new jar of clay

Jar of Clay

6 thoughts on “Sin Scoreboarding

  1. This is a beautifully honest post and one many can probably relate to! I also struggle with my emotions regarding the sin scoreboarders, ugh. Have you heard of Jim Palmer? His take on Christianity is one I’ve really connected to lately. He is a former pastor, went to divinity school and the whole nine yards–except now he doesn’t go to church. He has a very interesting take on how he thought Jesus wanted his words to be interpreted. Anyway, you may like him? Great post.

    1. Thank you so much, Courtney. Can’t tell you how much your support means to me. As for Jim Palmer, I have not heard of him, but I will be sure to check out his work.

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