What’s Your Spiritual Credit Score?
We are probably all familiar with our credit score. The FICO credit score is a metric created by the Fair Isaac Corporation to help lenders assess the risk of borrowers who are searching for a loan. A FICO score takes into account five areas to assess a person’s creditworthiness: payment history, current level of indebtedness, types of credit used, length of credit history, and new credit accounts. Generally speaking, a higher FICO score allows one to borrow more and get approved for loans easier because he or she is deemed as a low-risk borrower.
A FICO score can range from 300 to 850 points based on the individual’s criteria listed above. According to Investopedia, only 1.6% of the population has the perfect FICO score of 850. A perfect FICO score is rare in part because individuals with such a high score usually try to leverage that score into securing more loans, which causes the score to go down. Nevertheless, having a perfect FICO score would be quite the achievement because a high FICO score more readily allows one to secure mortgages, car loans, and other financial opportunities. The FICO score reflects something inherent in our thinking: that good things can be merited.
Can you imagine if there was a spiritual credit score? Many of us would probably imagine a spiritual credit score as going up and down based on our good deeds or our sins. If we help our neighbor move, our score will go up, but if we cheat on our taxes our score will go down. If this is how a spiritual credit score worked, we might expect that the more good deeds we did, the more God’s grace would extend to us. We might hypothesize that if our spiritual credit score was high enough, we could get into heaven or earn a nicer section of heaven reserved for those with high enough scores.
The problem is, we could never do enough good to have a perfect spiritual credit score on our own merit. All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6). Even if we were to do everything God commanded us, we would be unprofitable servants, only doing what was our duty to do (Lk. 17:10). The only way for us to be forgiven of our spiritual debt is to rely on the compassion of the Master to whom we are indebted (Matt. 18:23-27). We are saved by grace through faith and “not of works” (Eph. 2:8-9). Our spiritual credit score can only be raised, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5).
So, if we were to ask ourselves what our spiritual credit score is, it is either 300 or 850. Either we are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) or we are “alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:5). Either we are a son of disobedience deserving wrath (Eph. 2:2-3) or we are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (Eph. 2:10). The only way to raise our spiritual credit score is to be in Christ where we have “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sis, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
We could never pay off the debt we owe God, yet He forgives us anyway when we obey His Son (Heb. 5:9). If our spiritual credit score has been raised into the heavenly places through Christ, we should live a life devoted to good works and forgiving others (Matt. 18:28-35; Titus 2:14). If our spiritual credit score is low because we are still in our sins, we must put on Christ in faith, repentance, confession, and baptism (Gal. 3:27)! A high credit score may enable one to purchase a house or a car, but being in Christ enables one to inherit eternal riches.