So, in 2008, the housing market went bust, the economy dove into deep recession, consumer spending screeched to a halt, and everyone from not-for-profit ministries to Fortune 500 companies felt the squeezing begin. Consequently, people all over the United States lost their jobs or took serious cuts in pay. And, following the falling dominoes, those same people began to decide which bills they could pay, and which ones they couldn’t. And, according to the FICO Banking Analytics Blog, credit scores as a whole have drifted steadily downward.
Enter the catchy credit score website jingles and the “We can fix your score for $250!” corrugated plastic signs by the side of the road. And, since every vacuum in a Free Market is an opportunity, other businesses have boomed, like the “bad credit, no problem” auto dealerships. It makes good business sense, because the consumers whose credit scores have tumbled due to a suffering economy still need reliable transportation to find another job.
And in this age of information, another entity has found itself at the helm of this ship: the credit score information websites. That’s because everyone wants to know where they stand. We want to know if our score is high enough so that we won’t be rejected when we go to buy a car, or a refrigerator, or apply for a credit card to use for groceries. “How am I doing? Do I have a good enough record of performance to barter for my needs based on my good name?”
Although I understand that the above picture is where we may find ourselves in our current economic situation, please understand that it is not the system by which the Kingdom of God operates. Problem is, we act like it. We are constantly measuring ourselves by ourselves and others, to see if we can assess how pleased God is with us. And usually, we aren’t even measuring our failures—we are stacking up our good efforts for evaluation. “Have I read the Bible enough? Did I pray long enough today? Am I living a righteousness enough life that God will meet my needs? Has my performance as a Christian been strong enough that I can count on continued blessings based on my good record with Heaven?”
Do you notice what the biggest problem is with all of those questions? Every single one of them makes it about “me.” How am I doing? Where do I stand? Does God approve of me today? If you have been living under the burden and strain of trying to improve your credit score with God, listen to me here, because I think I can help you. Ready? Here it is: this whole Christian life thing? It’s not about you.
Never has been. Jesus did not die to make us behave, He died so that we could be new. There is no credit score in Heaven. No matter how many good and wonderful things you do, when the Father looks at you, He sees a son or daughter that is welcome in His presence because of the sacrificed life-blood of Jesus. And, no matter what you fail to do today, no matter where you mess up—your standing in Heaven still is rooted in the finished work of the bloody cross and the empty tomb. We call that “grace.” And it is yours for free.
Love “does not keep a record of wrongs.” (1 Cor. 13:5) So go ahead, live for Jesus today out of pure love and devotion, with joy and not with fear. Live as if there is no credit score in Heaven. Because there isn’t.