But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Philippians 3:7-8 (KJV)
I like to watch game shows. They can be silly, they can be exciting, they can be frustrating. I’m certain that the games are all slanted so the show has to give out the minimum to keeep people watching. People go on these game shows with the hopes of winning an obscene amount of cash, a dream vacation, a luxury car, anything that will make their lives better. Yet, what if there was a game show that you would not win anything, but you’d lose everything? How many people would line up to play that game. But, if you think about it, that is exactly what we are called to do. Let me explain.
Paul was writing his testimony to the church at Philipi, and teaching them all his accomplishments in the flesh. Take a look at Philippians 3:4-6. That’s quite a list. Remember, before his conversion on the way to Damascus, Paul was a Pharisee. He knew the Old Testament Laws inside and out. Then, after listing all his accomplishments, Paul makes this statement, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Wow! Paul had some great accomplishments, yet he counts them as loss for Christ. He takes it a step further in verse 8, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Paul puts his relationship with Jesus above anything else. Above any accomplishments, above any other goals, above anything that we would count as great. He says he “counts them but dung, that I may win Christ.” All his accomplishments he counts as dung.
Friends, Paul is teaching us an important principle. In Exodus 20:3 we read, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” And in verse 5, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God,” For many people, their pedigree is their god. Their accomplishments is their god. There is nothing wrong with the things Paul lists as his accomplishments. But there is something wrong with the things Paul lists as his accomplishments if those accomplishments are more important than God. Paul knew that God must have top place in his life, and he was willing to let go of anything that may take that place. How about you? Are you willing to let go of things to take hold of Jesus? For many people, that is too much to ask for. But for those who do, the best is yet to come. Are you willing to lose?