Stop doing this and every relationship you have will improve

You love doing it and so do I. We love it because it’s easy, feels good, and comes soooo naturally.

We love to keep score

You know why? You always win! You always win because you get to pick what game to keep score of.

I don’t keep score of the game where Brenda folds my t-shirts or makes breakfast or endures my procrastination. I don’t keep score of the times when I’m totally convinced I’m right and we argue about it and then later it turns out I’m wrong.

You don’t keep score if you think you’ll lose

You keep score because you want to win. You keep score of your sacrifice for them. If you think you’re right more than the other person, you keep score. If they have more shortcomings than you, you keep score. If they offend you more than you do them, you keep score.

Of course you’re humble about it and honestly say, “I know I mess up, too.” You don’t mind saying that because you know they mess up more. You know because you keep score.

You don’t have to write anything down, either, because you keep score automatically – in your soul. We all do. And that’s the problem.

Everyone thinks they win

I keep score of the things where I win and you keep score of the things where you win. So each of us thinks we’re the winner and the other person is the loser. Since we disagree, we argue about it and I try to prove you’re wrong, and you do the same with me.

You’d think since we’re such experts at keeping score, it would be obvious who’s right and who’s not. Have you ever argued with someone and suddenly they stop and say, “Oh! Now I see! You’re right and I’m wrong! Thanks for helping me realize that!” Me either.

You can keep score in marriage and you may win, but your marriage will lose.

You can keep score with your kids, your parents, your brothers and sisters, and all the family you’ll be seeing this Thanksgiving and Christmas. And you can win, but your family will lose.

There IS another score you could keep

It’s not easy, it doesn’t feel good, and it doesn’t come naturally.

You could keep score of the debt of love you owe

Start by finding some small thing where you’ve been loved. This will sensitize you and you’ll begin to see more and more acts of love you’ve missed.

Then try to pay it back.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another

Romans 13.8

Who do you owe? 

About the Author


Gary Morland helps you feel better about your most challenging family relationships, and helps you actually improve those relationships - all by adopting simple attitudes, perspectives, expectations, and actions (the same ones that changed him and his family).


  1. Robin Williams

    All I can say is this should become my next focus scripture for awhile. What a practical and straightforward message! Thanks!

  2. Natalie

    Needed to hear that one this morning. Thanks for the encouragement to do the hard work in our relationships with one another. I, for one, need it.

  3. I think God is trying to tell me something these days… I do keep a quiet score, but the funny thing is, I really don’t “feel” like I am winning. Thanks for the nudge to keep asking forgiveness, and set aside my own arguments!

    And then 1 Cor 13:5 – [love] keeps no record of wrongs…

  4. Mary

    Wow! Every Sunday I keep score when my husband is enjoying his one day off yet I still “have” to cook, etc…I get really bitter toward him. Thank you for pointing out this losing game that I am playing by myself. Of course, today, he’s the one working and I am sitting enjoying a cup of coffee and email! I guess he and I are even! I am really enjoying your posts and am currently reading “From Beer…”

  5. m

    I don’t like it when I feel the need 2 keep score, however, that need becomes less over time! Never was good @ it…lol;) What a great message, G! Merci…
    blessings & <3 M

  6. JohnandLisa Ghenne

    I just discovered your blog through your daughter’s blog. I’m so happy I found you. I’m a blogger but mine is mostly about food. You feed my head and that’s a good thing. Lisa

    • You blog is great – love staging all the food outside, like portraits


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