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God’s Math

You might, at some point, have heard of critic’s math from Jon Acuff.  In Jon’s mind he says something like this: One thousand compliments plus one criticism equals one criticism.  Jon has this tendency to completely forget about the thousand people who love his work and focus entirely on the one person who doesn’t.

I don’t think he is unique.  I think many of us are like that.  We worry and are anxious about that one person who hates us or our work instead of the many who love us.

Unfortunately, we also flip this around a bit.  Take someone who is a fantastic.  They make some sort of error and that is what they are known for.  A lifetime of positives plus one mistake equals one mistake.

We look at the recovering alcoholic who has been sober for three years.  Three years of sobriety plus one relapse equals one relapse.

What about God?  How does He view things?

Many of us would assume that God looks at us the same way.  After all, we are made in His image, right?  Well,  a very flawed image at this point that is tainted by sin.  We don’t look at things the way the Lord does.  He flips our math around.

We turn to Him.  We repent and accept the free gift of salvation.  His math becomes the opposite of ours.

A lifetime of sin plus one act of grace equals one act of grace.

God doesn’t focus on our sin anymore.  Instead, His focus is on what His Son has does for us.  He no longer sees a sinner standing there.  He sees someone saved by grace.  Instead of mistakes, He sees His child.

What can we do?  Instead of keeping on using the same old math, we need to turn to a new math book.  Rather than using old math, we need to turn to new math.  We need to use God’s math.  We can flip our script.  Change our own way of doing math.

What kind of math are you using in life?

  1. July 30, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Three years of sobriety + 1 relapse = 3 years of experience in staying sober +1 speed bump. What you do about the speed bump is up to you – and where you are going. In AA? Get another white chip, start over – make sure you’ve learned what it was you needed to learn. Some of us only have one relapse left, but we don’t know that – too many folks have died going back out, while there are others we think must have a revolving door that they pivot around, with minimal damage done.

    Never get me started on recovery and relapse, Larry – too many years around 12 Step programs. Seen way too many examples.

    The math I use today? I may fail – but *I* am not a failure. I wish to stay teachable, able to take a rebuke delivered in love. Constructive criticism? I never have liked the term – seems like yet another oxymoron – but I’ll allow as how it is possible to receive criticism that is meant to instruct and improve. I’ll take it a lot easier from someone whom I trust than from some stranger sniping via email or comment on a post.

    Good one!

    • July 30, 2013 at 5:00 am

      Agree with you. Rick. If someone offers me some constructive criticism, I will focus on the criticism. I like some other term.

  2. July 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Great points and post. Followers of Christ are clothed in His righteousness!

  3. July 30, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I had never heard it called that but do agree that we focus way tooooo much on the failure than on the good accomplished.

  1. March 2, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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