All About the Numbers
During my attempt at sales, my motto was, “It’s all about the numbers.” While I worked in education, the question was, “What do the research numbers indicate?” When goal setting was my intense draw, the idea that “what you measure grows” was the driving force behind my SMART goal setting.
While math has never been my strong suit and numbers and statistics don’t flow easily through my thinking, I get the meaning behind each of these sayings. I don’t completely agree with them, though. Some part of me always felt like the numbers weren’t exactly telling the truth, that they are simply too easy to manipulate to paint the picture you want others to see.
Numbers sometimes consume my thoughts and really distort my perspective. The number on the scale. The numbers on my blog’s stats page. My running mileage. My running time. The credit card bill. The bank account. Even the number of pages I read. The weight of numbers grows heavier when I compare my numbers to other people’s numbers. Never good enough.
They say that numbers don’t lie, but they sure don’t always make any sense in guiding my steps. Fortunately, God math does. God math may not add up with man’s numbers, but it sure makes sense when viewed in light of eternity. That’s because God math gets at the truth. God math is as real as it gets.
- When God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorra, He agreed to not destroy it if there were just 10 righteous people living there. (Genesis 18:16-33)
- God continued to reduce Gideon’s numbers until the total would clearly indicate that God, not man, won the victory. (Judges 7)
- God cautioned David to not count the people. He warned Him that the numbers didn’t matter. David didn’t listen, and the consequences were devastating. David’s math certainly failed to line up with how God wanted him to think of the numbers. (2 Samuel 24)
- Jesus encouraged leaving the 99 to seek the one who is lost. (Matthew 18:12)
Most significantly of all, God sent His only Son to die for the sins of all mankind. Just one atoned for the sins of all (John 3:16-17).
God math doesn’t make sense in human terms, but it certainly resonates deeply in light of eternity.
My thoughts will probably always feel like they are wading through mud when I try to do math and make sense out of numbers. Yet, God math continually makes more and more sense to me the more I decrease while He increases.