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 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ. (Phil. 3:7-9)
Last week, we heard Paul boast about his amazing qualifications. But today he calls his portfolio rubbish, and sets it out on the curbside in exchange for…what? A fortified relationship with Christ. It’s as though Paul’s saying, “What can I do? Outperform everyone. But where is my identify truly found? In my relationship with Jesus.”
I took all the “trophies” mentioned in last week’s post and put them out on the curbside. Sheer rubbish.
More important than any of those tokens of recognition is the strong relationship with Christ, as I find my life in His:
- Following a childhood of physical abuse, I’ve had the privilege of praying for restoration for other women survivors.
- Married for thirty years, I’ve seen the power of forgiving love.
- Following a car accident with my son when he was a baby, I’ve found self-forgiveness and hope in a healing God.
- The birth of our stillborn girl has opened doors to connect grieving parents with the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
- Raising three children has increased my reliance on humor, especially in days when I had no answers.
- Dealing with years of fibromyalgia has equipped me to help others when the clamor of chronic pain competes with God’s voice.
- And as a certified teacher, I’ve encouraged children of all ages to bring hope to others with their own stories as they grow in wisdom.
What painful experiences are you grateful for? How has God used your struggle points to bring life to others?