Bad News for Bookkeepers
Here’s a quote that both stings and sings from the brilliant mind and poetic pen of the late Robert Farrar Capon. It stings because it confronts our natural instinct to keep score. It sings because it reminds us that God has forever settled the score against us.
Jesus has already been critical of the following items taken from everybody’s list of Favorite Things to Be: Being First, Being Found, Being Big, Being Important, and Being Alive. Now however, he castigates the one item that holds all these futilities together and gives them power over us, namely, Being a Bookkeeper.
The human race is positively addicted to keeping records and remembering scores. What we call our “life” is, for the most part, simply the juggling of accounts in our heads. And yet, if God has announced anything in Jesus, it is that He, for one, has pensioned off the bookkeeping department permanently…
It may be our sacred conviction that the only way to keep God happy, the stars in their courses, our children safe, our psyches adjusted, and our neighbors reasonable is to be ready, at every moment, to have the books we have kept on ourselves and others audited. But that is not God’s conviction because he has taken away the handwriting that was against us (Col. 2:14).
—Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus by Robert Farrar Capon