But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8 NIV
These are some intense statements. Like, the Apostle Paul isn’t messing around when he’s writing this. This is an all-caps text, a shout for the people in the back. At the top of his lungs, he’s screaming that his reputation and accolades are TRASH in comparison to the VALUE of following Jesus. Verses 4-6 are describing the list of reasons he could consider himself great and worthy of praise, yet he takes all of these legitimately positive qualities and dramatically declares them nothing to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.
We all face the same decision of what we’re going to value in life. What we consider most important will determine what we choose to do and why we do it. In this passage, Paul is declaring that there is nothing more valuable to him than knowing Jesus personally. His ultimate desire to follow Jesus affects the way he views alternate priorities, including his own reputation. My biggest temptation is to prioritize what others think of me above what God thinks of me—pleasing people instead of pleasing God. However, the more I take this verse to heart, the more I realize that nothing compares to the value of following Jesus. I then become less focused on my past, my accolades, and my rep, and I start honing in on who God is, what He says, and where He is going.
a practical step
For most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, there are things in life that we value more than God. They might be really good things, but they have taken a position in our hearts that was originally made for Christ. Take some time to reflect and examine what areas in your life you may prioritize above God. There can be a lot of distractions in life, but make the Main Thing the main thing.
Jesus, I want to know you. Thank you for all the good things you have given me. Help me to prioritize you in my life. If there is anything other than you sitting on the throne of my heart, I want to give you back your place. You are the main thing to me. Amen