My friend’s son Gannon is a superb soccer player. As a freshman in high school he helped lead the varsity team to the state championship. He is a quiet, polite young man who transforms into a warrior once he hits the field. During one of his recent games, he had an opportunity to believe.

    Gannon’s team was in the lead by three goals, a massive lead in soccer. Guarding him was a player who used insults to try to keep Gannon from being his glorious soccer-playing self. They call it “talking smack.” His was incessant. Mean. “You are the worst player on this team.” “You can’t even kick the ball.” “No one on your team likes you.” “You shouldn’t be on this team.” “Your just a baby freshman.” “Go home, little boy.”

    Sound familiar? You’re blowing it. You can’t do this well at all. You never will. You’re not qualified. You don’t have any real friends. You should just go home.

    What do hear when you forget a friend’s birthday? Leave a party? Sin?

    Gannon’s accuser didn’t take a break. He started right in again after any time out. Gannon said it was the most difficult thing he had ever endured on the field. “You missed! You are always going to miss.” Accusations hurt. Spiritual warfare hurts.

    Gannon didn’t engage him in a verbal battle. He didn’t entertain the accusations coming against him or defend himself. He merely answered him, “Scoreboard.” That is all he ever replied. “Scoreboard.” His accuser could say what he wanted; there was no silencing him. But Gannon’s team was winning the game. He and his teammates were playing well. The truth lay in the scoreboard. Gannon’s defense lay in the truth. There was no catching them. You bet they won that game. Now that silenced his accuser.

    Scoreboard. Done and done. Jesus has won our victory, and we are victorious as well, in him. We are not defined by our sin, our failures, or our past. We are forever and only defined by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Everything Jesus did and won was for us. We were slaves to sin, yes. But because of Jesus, we are slaves no longer.

From Becoming Myself © 2013 Stasi Eldredge. Permission granted for limited use. Published by David C Cook.