On both my high school and college baseball fields, one thing was constant–the position of the scoreboard. At PRP and at Murray State, the scoreboard loomed behind the left field wall. Anytime I forgot the count, the inning, or the score, I simply looked behind me and there it was. Because of the scoreboard, I always knew where we stood in the game. Because of the scoreboard, I knew what we needed to do to hold the lead or to catch up. Because of the scoreboard, there was no doubt about who the winner was when it was all over. The scoreboard is impartial, it doesn’t lie, and it always gives a clear picture of current circumstances.

Anyone who plays sports probably lives life desiring a scoreboard that is readily accessible. We like to know how we’re doing, if we’re winning or losing, how many innings are left, and so on. In truth, scoreboards are everywhere in life. Just look at your bank account, your age, your accomplishments, your mirror, your number of Twitter followers or Facebook friends. These are the scoreboards by which most people measure themselves. More money, a younger age or appearance, greater achievements, more followers and friends.

Yet, here’s the hard truth. Those are false and fleeting scoreboards. One day, your money and your stuff will go to someone else, no matter how much you have. You will age, no matter how much makeup or surgery you apply, no matter how much you work out. Your followers on Twitter and your friends on Facebook will one day find someone more interesting.

Should that discourage you? Only if you’ve placed your hope in a false scoreboard.

Consider this from Proverbs 4:13–“Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life” (NLT).

In this proverb, a father is giving his son advice on the things that really matter, the true scoreboard. He speaks of wisdom and other intangible things as what we should really pursue in life. God’s scoreboard looks at your heart, not your bank account or your physique or your Facebook page. For those who have surrendered their lives in faith to Jesus Christ, the outcome of the game is secure. In the mean time, the only “runs” that count are those you can’t touch with your hands or always see with your eyes. Wisdom, instruction, holiness, purity, making disciples. These are the things on the only scoreboard that matters.

Here’s a prayer:

Lord, thanks for changing the scoreboard and for winning the ultimate victory for me. Set me free from the scoreboard of this world and enable me to pursue the things that matter to you. Amen.