If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
He got my attention! It was the day my much-loved professor walked to the blackboard, picked up a piece of chalk and listed some of his degrees, books, job titles, and awards. Then with that chalk, he drew a big letter X through it all. He had come to understand that, compared to knowing Jesus, all of his accomplishments, honors, and awards added up to a big fat zero. A net loss in the game of life!
I remember that day because my professor gave me insight into the words of the apostle Paul in today’s provocative scripture. Paul had a most impressive resume of many accomplishments and honors in the eyes of the world. But then something happened to Paul, a.k.a. Saul of Tarsus. He met Jesus! He had his ‘road to Damascus experience’ in encountering the risen and glorified Christ. He saw in that encounter all of his good works and intentions added up to nothing. Paul actually calls all of that a “loss”. Why? Because of “the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
So today can become my ‘road to Damascus experience’, my day of looking at life’s balance sheet. This is a reality because I know that compared to the joy of knowing Jesus, my accomplishments and aspirations add up to a loss. But not only a loss, a real hindrance; they keep me from seeing the totality of life in Christ Jesus! Here is the freedom and delight of coming to see that life is not about me. It’s solely about Jesus!
PLANT A THOUGHT… Repeat, Tell, Write, Create
A Fellow Traveler,