Social autopsy…have you ever heard of that? It’s when after you leave a social event you find yourself asking questions like, “Did I say too much?” “Did I make a fool of myself?” “I wonder what they thought of me?” “Did I say the wrong thing?” Did I offend?” “Will they still like me?”
It’s a good thing to consider our words and our actions – to check ourselves and to ask the Lord how we can improve in our interactions with others. Social autopsy is when we beat it to death – and that is not a good thing. If we get caught up in over-evaluation and dissecting our conversations we begin to get too caught up in ourselves.
Followers of Jesus sometimes get caught up in spiritual autopsies. We behave as though the Most Holy God is up in heaven with His permanent marker and His scorecard keeping a running total of our daily successes and failures. We imagine Him making an eternal evaluation of our behaviors that will fall into one of two columns:
YOU BLEW IT and YOU OWNED IT
In the YOU BLEW IT column you might imagine items listed such as – “You were critical” “You were involved in conflict and you are the problem” “You haven’t spent enough time in the Bible” “You haven’t spent enough time in prayer” “You gossiped” “You said too much” “You should have spoken up” “You skipped church”, “You are a mess”, “It’s too late for you”, etc. etc.
In the YOU OWNED IT column you might imagine things like, “You did a great job”, “My, you were impressive”, “You acted perfectly”, “Everyone liked you”, “You look good to others” “You did a fabulous job of living out your spiritual gifts”, “Everyone thinks you’re nice”, “You have all the correct theological answers” “You are a wonderful example of what a Christian should look like”, etc. etc.
Both columns of this imaginary scorecard are dangerous. In one column we are being too hard on ourselves and in the other column we are giving ourselves more credit than we deserve.
God doesn’t keep scorecards. We do. We are the ones who create scorecards for ourselves and for others.
When Jesus died on the cross the scorecards were destroyed.
Jesus invites us to throw away the scorecards that we have created. He doesn’t want us to fret, stress, measure, or dissect. We do not need perform spiritual or social autopsies and we do not need to produce a scorecard that proves we are good enough. The only thing we need to do is to believe that when Jesus went to the cross, He went for you and for me.
If you are in Jesus Christ, you have been granted a special kind of grace. The scorecard is settled and the Lord has put His stamp of approval on your life. HOLY. BLAMELESS. He doesn’t see your past, your failures, or your mistakes. He looks past your shortcomings and sees you as an incredible person with exceptional gifts. As you begin to grasp who you are in Christ you are no longer limited by the scorecard you have been keeping. It breaks spiritual bondage.
When spiritual bondage is broken, it gives fresh hope. Scorecards being to disappear as our hearts become kinder, softer, and more gentle with ourselves and with others. Old habits die and new habits begin to form. Grace makes it possible to fulfill your purpose and to become the person that He knew you could become.
God will not be glorified in us or through us if we hang onto scorecards. Every time you are tempted to pull out the scorecard, stop and remember that you are His. You are precious in His sight. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. You have been born again and you can have a new life.
Leave behind your social and spiritual autopsies. Leave behind your scorecards. You are holy. Blameless.
This is God’s favor.