Does it sometimes seem that almost every activity in our life is measured by numbers? Certainly that is true in the sports world. Whether it be team sports or individual ones, There is some way of recording one’s progress or lack of it. In the medical arena there are graphs to measure blood pressure, heart beats, temperature, etc, etc. In the scholastic part of one’s life there are letter grades, SAT’s, final tests and placement tests. Many of the jobs in the vocational world have machines that tell us degrees of pressure, speed and distance. Often with constant evaluations and measurements come constant stress.
What about our spiritual life? Does our Creator keep a giant scoreboard of our daily progress? One might think so by the many Bible verses that refer to good and bad deeds. Jesus commanded His disciples to, “let your light shine so that others may see your good deeds and praise your heavenly Father.” (Mt 5:16) Paul tells us that one proves his repentance by his deeds. (Acts 26:20) In his letter to Timothy he says, “Command them to do good and to be rich in good deeds.” (1 Tim 6:18) Jesus states in Revelation 2:23, “…I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” He also calls the righteous followers who did good deeds—sheep who will inherit eternal life. (Mt 25:31-46) We are told in Ephesians to measure up to the fullness of God. (3:19) (4:13)
In our secular life if we don’t measure up to certain standards we run the risk of being demoted or fired. In our spiritual walk we do good deeds not to earn eternal salvation, which we cannot do, but to love and serve others as Jesus did. (Jo 13:4-15) There should not be the merit and quota system that we face in the secular world, rather we realize that Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Mt 11:29-30) He also gives us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us (Eph 3:16) and angels as ministering spirits. (Heb 1:14) We don’t need to look at any scoreboard, we fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12:2)