Philippians 3:7 – 8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
By religious standards, Paul had attained just about every desirable symbol of success. He had the background and education, and his faithful religious actions gave him credibility in the religious circles of his day. Even the most pious Scribes and Pharisees couldn’t argue with Paul’s credentials. So, Paul pulled out each of his assets and placed them on the proverbial balance. Then, he placed Christ on the other side of the balance.
Let’s take a look at Paul’s profits, shall we? Education – that is a good thing. As a former schoolteacher, I am highly in favor of attaining the highest level of education possible. Good family background – that’s good, too. I’m blessed to have parents who love the Lord and love their children and grandchildren. They have passed on a rich heritage, and I am grateful to God for placing me in such a family. Good deeds – yet another good thing. We should always strive to do good whenever possible, don’t you think?
The things Paul listed as credits were all good things, according to the standards of his time. Yet, he counted them as loss, as liabilities, because they had originally prevented him from knowing Jesus Christ! Sometimes, good things become bad things when they stand in the way of our relationships with our Lord.
Paul loaded the balance with all of his assets. Then He compared them to the glory of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There was no comparison! He decided that all of his education, good family background, and good works were rubbish! He traded in all of his good things so that he could experience the best thing.
Dear Father, Sometimes I get sidetracked with all of the good things in my life. I allow them to become liabilities, letting them stand in the way of my relationship with You. Please help me to be like Paul, counting everything a loss compared to You.
this was awesome, renae! thanks for reminding me about the “balance”!
What a clear and concise look at how the good things can often prevent us from reaching for the best things.
I am reminded, too, that the scriptures remind us that “all our righteousness is as filthy rags.” Seems like a harsh analogy, but no more harsh than calling our good deeds rubbish.
This realization, that in ourselves we have nothing to offer, even in our good works, is the key to letting God use everything in our lives.