15 "He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God's sight.’"
Luke 16:15 (NIV)
I came out of the womb competing, and my motto was, “Anything you can do, I can do better!” I have lived each day keeping score with everyone about everything.
As an athlete, I’m assuming you may also have a very competitive nature, and as a participant in the American sports culture, you may also have learned to look incessantly at the scoreboard.
In sports, we compete for stats, playing time and the coach’s attention. We lift, stretch, run, sweat and perform for accolades, achievements and advancement. There’s no escaping the lust for winning, and in order to win we must constantly keep score.
But what scoreboard are you looking at?
In the Gospel of Luke, we see a story of two sisters, Mary and Martha, who were entertaining Jesus and the disciples in their home. This revealing story is about two women who were looking at very different scoreboards.
As the story unfolds, Martha, who apparently has the gift of service, begins to look at the earthly scoreboard – and she realizes she is doing all the work while Mary is just resting at the feet of Jesus. Martha even asks Jesus to tell Mary to help her.
Jesus answers in Luke 10:41 and 42, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" (NASB).
Martha was looking at the outward achievement scoreboard – herself and her sister, while Mary was looking at the inward spiritual scoreboard – Jesus.
Reflect: Are you busy tallying the points of your earthly achievements? Are you, like Martha, doing good things for all the wrong reasons? Are you looking for your performance in athletics to bring you affirmation, acceptance, and self-worth?
Jesus said that only one thing is necessary. Mary chose to look to Jesus for her affirmation.
She stopped striving and rested in His presence. She chose to elevate Jesus rather than herself. She even chose to lay aside what the world, her own sister, thought she should be doing.
She put aside her search for glory and gave Jesus the glory.
Friends, God is keeping score too, and in the end, He will look at the scoreboard of our lives, and only one thing will matter – Is Jesus in you, in me? No other stat is going to matter – not our game stats, playing time, degrees earned, money made, nor any other earthly success that is “highly esteemed among men.”
A prayer to consider: Lord, help me to look at the only scoreboard that matters – the spiritual one – Jesus in me!