To Gain Christ

Journal Entry // September 30, 2022

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (ESV)

Philippians 3:8

Paul has learned and is passing on a valuable and important lesson to all of us in this particular verse. That lesson is simply having a proper holy perspective on life and the circumstances we each find ourselves. There is only one thing of importance. There is only one thing that truly matters. This one thing is the preeminent concern for each and every one of us. That concern is the surpassing worth of knowing Christ and being known by him. Christ alone is THE object of eternal value in this life. Everything else is to be counted as loss and even rubbish in comparison. The ultimate knowledge of Jesus Christ as my one and only Savior is the gain I should prize. The only true and lasting gain. The eternal reward of happiness and joy being found in Christ alone for all of eternity.

In the past, I have always read this passage with a focus on what was lost and challenging myself to view the good things that were lost or taken away as a means to bring me closer to Christ. While this is not wrong in any sense and is helpful to a degree, I think what Paul is getting at is to let go of the loss and focus squarely on the gain. I don’t think I am able to really ever let go of the loss I have suffered when I am continuing to see what was lost as more valuable than what I have gained. When I continue to cast my gaze backward in life to consider and long for what was lost, I am living life as if what was lost was the ultimate pinnacle of happiness.

Paul would have me live another way.  A way of considering and understanding that what I have in Christ is far superior and is the supreme prize of life. So much so, that when I do think about and remember the past I will only count these thoughts as rubbish compared to what I now have in Christ. Meaning that what the Lord may have taken away from me previously was to enable me to enrich my heart and soul with the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.

My focus in life should solely be on Jesus Christ. The Savior of my soul, the Creator of the universe, the One who truly cares for and loves me completely has taken up residence in my heart. This is the gain. This is the purpose in life I have been seeking and craving. It’s not my job or my relationships or my prestige or my material wealth. No, the purpose of my life is to be found in Christ alone for all of eternity. All these other things are to be counted as a loss. Not a loss to grieve, but a willing sacrifice at the foot of the cross in honor of Jesus. A symbol of the humility of my heart as I seek to bow down and worship my Lord and Savior. As I do away with the message of the world to seek glory for myself and seek only to live for the glory of God. To do away with selfish pride and arrogance and simply be a humble servant to my perfect loving Master. To love him with all my heart soul mind and strength.

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