The Good Place: Blog 2 – Grace

Let’s talk about grace and just how messed up it really is.



Sunday night Lea talked about how the show works off a points system to determine how good or bad people are, which determines where they go in the afterlife. You may be like me and think, “that’s such a messed up system.” And you’d be right.

For one thing, a lot of the point values for things are completely arbitrary and inane – simply used for laughs on the show. Here have a look and remind yourself:



some of them are pretty funny, and some of them, we’d probably all agree are universally bad, like committing genocide. But look how arbirtray the points are for some of these things. We may all agree that committing genocide is bad and ending slavery is good, but what of the points?! Ending slavery would earn you 814,292.09 points, while committing genocide would cost you 433,318.88 points. That’s a difference of 380,973.21 points. Does that seem accurate to you? I mean, it might. But a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust might think genocide should cost a lot more. A slave from any century might think ending slavery should be at least a million points. And all those first century Christian slave owners in the Bible would probably be horrified at the thought that the person who makes them give up their slaves would earn even 1 point.

So do you see what I’m saying?


Another thing to consider is that a lot of these examples wouldn’t even apply to certain people groups at all, and in certain societies and cultures, things we might deem “bad” or “wrong” from a Western standard could be seen in a totally different way. Therefore, a lot of “good” and “bad” things are purely subjective and relative.


But let’s go back to the points attributed to each thing. In this system someone who may have worked half of their life for a company but had no idea that what they were doing was poisoning a near by river would be damned!

Losing 4010.55 points nearly every day for 30 or so years would put this person at a deficit of 120,316.5 points. And that doesn’t even take into account anything else they’ve done that would add to the negative. It would take eating a lot of sandwiches and remembering a lot of birthdays to climb out of that hole. And the worst part about it is, you may not even know that what you’re doing is accruing that many, or ANY, negative points at all!


That’s pretty messed up, but my point is this: God’s system is actually even more messed up. What makes the show’s point system funny is because to a degree that’s how we all think; certain sins are worse than others. But the Bible says otherwise. The consequence of all sin is death (Rom 6:23) and we’re also told that if someone is able to keep the whole law but fail in just one part they are accountable for all of it (James 2:10).

Now, there is grounds to argue that while no sin is greater than another, there are sins that have a greater spiritual impact than others. HOWEVER, we know that no matter what the sin is it was nailed to Jesus Christ on the cross and dealt with.

Therefore, someone who poisoned a river for 30+ years can be forgiven for their actions and put back on the same level playing field as Mother Teresa. The


But does that make sense? Is that fair? What makes more sense, a point based system or grace?

One could say that God’s system of grace is messed up because Christ died for even the worst of humanity (John 3:16; Matt 5:45). And even the worst human beings are capable of accepting Christ and the salvation of the Cross and receive the same grace and the same promise you and I have (Matt 20:1-16). 

It’s totally NOT fair, but I for one am glad, because I’d hate to see what my point tally totals up to. I’m sure I’d be in the bad place, probably just by how many times I use Facebook as a verb! But we’re saved by God’s grace, and God’s grace present in the the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross to be more precise.


I think we’ll always tend to define people as “good” or “bad” by their behavior and actions, which actually falls in line with the show’s approach, but we must remember that it’s not our actions that determine our outcome – not wholly, at least – but it’s God’s action in sending himself in Jesus Christ to die in our place and save us from the penalty of sin; death. That one action means more than any thousands of actions – GOOD OR BAD – that we could ever do.


What makes more sense to you, moral points or grace?

Consider the parable in Matt 20:1-16. Who do you most identify with in this parable and why? 

What does this parable say to you about who God is?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *