Let me start off by saying that this is really for those who call themselves, Christians, says they are a Christ Follower, believer in Jesus, saved, born again, etc. I think that once we believe we are “saved” and that Jesus Christ has washed away all our sins, we think we’ve got it made. But really, getting “saved” is just the beginning. You see, what really happened when we got saved was that Jesus took over a debt of ours. We were in debt up to our ears and he stepped up and said, ‘You know what, I’ll pay off everything that person owes.” Then he looked at you and said, “I’m not going to ask for any kind of repayment, so you are now free and clear of any debts. Now don’t run up anymore.” Look it up in the Bible, that’s exactly what he did. Two examples of this are the man at the pool of Bethesda, and the woman who had been caught in adultery.
So, you were given a fresh start with really good credit. So now, I ask you, What is your spiritual credit score like today? Is it still in good standing? Did you do as Jesus asked? Maybe you are asking, “How in the world would I know what my SPIRITUAL credit score is?” Same way you know what your financial credit score is. Well, sort of, I guess there isn’t anyone like FICO® (Fair Isaac Corporation) to tell you. But you can figure it out just the same.
First, a financial credit score is a number that helps lenders and others predict how likely you are to make your credit payments on time. So, a spiritual credit score is what helps God and others predict how likely you are to make your credit payments on time. Those payments would be things like, how likely you are to keep your word, how fast will you respond to God’s will in your life, how you treat others, how often you serve others … let’s just sum it up into what people like to call your “good works” and “knowing God’s will.”
Financial credit scores analyze your credit-related information, you can find out how by following this link. Let’s see how that relates to your spiritual credit score.
- Your payment history. This history starts with a clean slate because Jesus made good on all our debts. This pertains to the “Don’t run up anymore,” part of Jesus’ deal. So, Have you kept your word? Your word is used as a form of credit, have you ever thought of that? Think about it, you promise to do something at a later time, isn’t that like saying I’ll pay ya later? So, do you keep your promises? Do you do what say you will? Can others count on you? Are you trustworthy? Your actions towards others also have a negative effect on your Spiritual Credit Score. Are you known as an angry person? Do you have a quick temper? Do you tend to snap at people? How often do you listen and obey what God tells you to do? Do you seek His will or assert your own? I guess you could say when Jesus said talked about knowing them by their fruits, this is what He meant. If your producing lots of good fruit, your Spiritual Credit Score will go up.
- How much you owe? Forgiveness is another thing that works like credit. When you ask someone to forgive you, you are asking them to trust you. Each time you have to ask forgiveness for the same action, you are going into debt with others. Saying I’m sorry a lot is the same as using a credit card over and over and over again. We all know that there is a limit on how many times a person can break our trust and hurt us. We don’t get mad if someone is late once or twice, or forgets something once in a while. We allow for bad days, and temper tantrums once in a while. We can write off a few here and there, but if the number of times those things happen increases, it has an effect on our relationships. Those relationships, have what is referred to as an Emotional Bank Account. Your Spiritual Credit Score is based on how much you owe on these accounts. How many accounts do you have with balances? How much of your available credit you are using? The more you owe compared to your credit limit, the lower your score will be.
- Length of your credit history. This is something people don’t tend to consider. But the Bible says we are held accountable for what we know. And it goes to reason that the longer you walk as a “Christian” the more you will be accountable for. Don’t miss that, I didn’t say the longer you ARE a Christian, I said WALK as a Christian. Many people can talk like one, it’s another thing to actually walk like one. The longer you can walk the right walk, your score will increase. Keep in mind that because it’s more about how long you walk and not how long you talk, the number of years you’ve been saved doesn’t have to be long in order to increase your score.
- New credit. Think of this as your relationships. If you are continually shopping around for new relationships because you can’t maintain your old ones for very long, it will affect your Spiritual Credit Score. The Bible tells us to know those who dwell among you. The only real way to do that is to build relationships over a period of time. It doesn’t mean you don’t make new relationships. It doesn’t mean that sometime you start a relationship and figure out that it just doesn’t work out that well. It means that you should have some good solid relationships that last long-term. We all have life changing events like moving, college, marriage, etc. Those will tend to generate a whole lot of new relationships in a short period of time. But that’s fine, it is a reflection of your life changes. But if we continually have relationships avoiding or dumping us, we better take a look at making some changes, or our Spiritual Credit Score will go down.
- Other factors. Several minor factors also can influence your score. For example, having a mix group of relationships. Hanging out with the world too much. Doing things on Friday night that you wouldn’t want the people you go to church with on Sunday seeing. These things can bring your Spiritual Credit Score down. Take time to get into God’s Word by reading the Bible, spend time in prayer and worship, attend church services, fellowship with other like-minded people, serve the needy, and share Christ with others, these are all normal for Christians with longer Spiritual credit histories and can add to the Spiritual Credit Scores.
Here are some general ways to improve your Spiritual credit scores:
- Pay your debts on time. Keep your promises, do what you say you will, seek out and do what God’s will is for your life.
- Keep balances low. Be attentive to your Emotional Bank Accounts in others, try to make more deposits than withdrawals. Do what you can so that you don’t get into situations where you have to continually ask for forgiveness
- Pay off debt rather than just moving on to another relationship. Try to work things out before moving on. Sometimes you may not be able to be as close as you were, but don’t end things as enemies.
- If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. You can start over right now, clear up any debts you have, and begin walking a new.
Jesus gave us each a perfect Spiritual Credit Score. We don’t have to strive to make it any better. All we have to do is maintain it, and avoid actions that will lower it.