“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 3:8
It seems that from the time we are children, we are encouraged and challenged to be the best that we can be. We are told, “You can do whatever you want to do!” This is the same way I challenge and encourage my kids, dream big and chase those dreams. We play sports and dream of being a professional, or care for babies and dress up Barbie’s making them beautiful. As children we play a myriad of things, dreaming and thinking of one day what we might be. It is from the time we are young that we are unaware of a simple fact. We base our greatness on outward things, and compare ourselves to others. We have made standards in our lives, and the standard almost always ends up being how I match up to another.
It isn’t a bad thing to aim to be like someone, to dream that one day I will be as strong as dad, or as loving and caring as mom, but we’ve also taken that mentality into our churches and spiritual lives, and our standard becomes one another. Maybe even how is my church doing compared to the one down the road.
Paul in Philippians 3 is dealing with this same thing. He speaks to the Judaizers and he says you’ve been working so hard to uphold the law and keep the standard of men, yet you aren’t even able to attain to where I am, the Hebrew of Hebrews, he says in (v. 5), let alone to God. Paul, not trying to boast or puff himself up, but wanting them to know the standard wasn’t in what men had put together, the standard was God. He said all the things that made me great in men’s eyes I count as loss. They are worthless. Those things that outwardly made me great and caused me to gain great things never allowed me to know God.
Have you caught yourself basing your service on something other than God’s Word? Today, stop and evaluate your life according to God’s word and not the person you serve along side of. Listen to Paul, “all things were gain to me, these things I count as loss for Christ.”
What in your life must you begin to count as loss? Ask God to show you those things in your life that have taken the place of God’s standard for you.