The Scorecard

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There are two scorecards we can use to tally our success.

There are two scorecards we can use to tally our success.

How do you gauge how you are doing? Everyone has a scorecard. It is probably not a physical scorecard, where personal or professional progress is tracked. Most of us keep a tally of certain things that end up measuring whether we feel we are succeeding or not. We get a feeling of satisfaction or discontent from those metrics.

There are outer scorecards. Calculations are made using pedigree, place, profit, or professing principles (just professing them is sometimes enough, without keeping them.) I am not discounting what can be known about someone by some of these visible metrics. However, the exterior life can be deceiving. Not only can it be used to trick others, it is easy to trick ourselves.

The best corrective to the potential deception of an outer scorecard is an inner scorecard. An inner scorecard is the satisfaction we feel with who we are. To be clear, the inner scorecard is not about reputation. It has nothing to do with who others think we are. There is ultimately no satisfaction in the false rewards of reputation.

I see Paul outlining an outer and inner scorecard in Philippians 3:4-9. He defines an outer scorecard as “confidence in the flesh” (v.4). These were things like ethnicity (Israelite, Benjamite, Hebrew), title (Pharisee), action (persecutor), morality (by the book). At some point though, he says he crumpled up that scorecard (v.7). The new, inner scorecard he started using was simply “to be found in him” (v.9). Paul was motivated to be true to the one opinion that counts.

The inner scorecard always trumps the outer scorecard. No matter the background, how impressive the title, what we have built, or even the standards we have managed to maintain; if we don’t feel on the inside that we are lining up with the way things really are on the outside, we will never be satisfied and never receive approval from the One opinion that ultimately matters.

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Why Aren’t You Changing?

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There is usually at least one area we would like to change in our life. Why don’t we see more change? What are the factors that inhibit personal change, progress, and development? As I thought about the question, three things came to mind.


1. No pain

Pain is the primary promoter of progress. Yet, many of us are driven by comfort (not just drawn to it) and strategically avoid pain. I’m not referring to the natural reflex of self-preservation. There is the healthy avoidance of pain that keeps us from putting our hand in the fire.


I’m referring to the pain of choosing to change and the correlating action. Author and psychologist Henry Cloud says, “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” Where there is change there is always pain.


What discomfort do you need to embrace in order to see the change you want to see?


2. No support

We need the support of others to change. Isolation makes it hard to maintain the momentum necessary for change. In their book Connecting  Stanley and Clinton say,


A network…of relationships is not an option for a believer who desires to grow, minister effectively and continuously, and finish well. It’s imperative! In our study of leaders, we can clearly conclude that those who experienced anointed ministry and finished well had a significant network of meaningful relationships that inspired, challenged, loved, listened, pursued, developed, and held one another accountable.” (pg 159)

Who can you ask for help?


3. No desire

The last reason that came to mind that inhibits change is desire. We simply don’t care. Perhaps this is connected to the first reason, in that, we don’t love change more than we love the way things currently are.


I purposefully use the word love here. When I use desire, I’m not simply meaning wanting something, in the sense of logical calculation. I think there must be an emotional connection. I believe it was David Schwartz in his book The Magic of Thinking Big who wrote, “There is no motion without emotion.” Zig Ziglar used to say, “There is no energy in logic.”


You may know what to do and believe the change is the right thing to do, but you must love the change. James K.A. Smith, in his book Desiring the Kingdom says, “Human persons are not primarily or for the most part thinkers, or even believers. Instead, human persons are—fundamentally and primordially—lovers.” You may not be seeing the change you want to see, because your motivation is being fueled by reasons in your head and not passion from your heart.


Why don’t you care enough about this to change?


Why don’t we see more change? What would happen if you embraced pain, sought support, and tapped into desire?

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