Paul had his accounting correct. He correctly counted what was valuable and what was hurtful. We need to learn from Paul’s accounting methods. We tend to count as profit those things that are really loss. We tend to count as valuable our credentials and family and tradition and earthly goods and religiousness, but those things are not genuinely valuable. How do we know what things are really valuable? By recognizing that the knowledge of Christ is superior to all things. No matter what the value of all other things may be, there is one thing that is of surpassing value over them all, the knowledge of Christ. The knowledge of Christ exceeds the worth of religions, creeds, devotion, duty, passion, power, possessions or prominence. The knowledge of Christ exceeds the value all of these things combined. Nothing reaches the incalculable worth of that priceless possession. But what is the knowledge of Christ? The knowledge of Christ is the experienced, intimate knowledge of your Savior. This is not a Trivial Pursuit kind of knowledge. This is the intimate knowledge of people who deeply love each other. This is the knowledge of two people who have lived long together and know every detail and every part of one another. This is knowledge that demands time and relationship. This is not knowledge that comes from study alone, this is knowledge that comes from life together. This knowledge of Christ will always agree with Scriptures because it can only come from Scriptures. This knowledge is not a mystical, queasy feeling you may get when you think about Christ. This is a knowledge of the Word that goes beyond the ability to repeat facts. I am not talking about just memorizing the Word, I am talking about living out the Word. I am not talking about being able to tell all about Christ, I am talking about living out Christ. That is the knowledge Paul counts as surpassing in value. In reckoning this knowledge of Christ as superior, then we will be able to discern and reject the things that are worthless. You will then begin to hold things up in light of the knowledge of Christ and will realize what is profitable and what is trash. In Philippians 2 Paul uses strong terms to describe those things that he once considered profitable. He calls them trash, dung, manure. They are worthy of being nothing but fertilizer. Let me ask you, do any of you cling to your garbage? Do you hold tightly to those things you find in your trash can? You find an empty tin can, is that worthwhile? I have a banana peel, will you cling to that? No, it’s trash. That is Paul’s accounting, all the things the flesh counts as valuable are just trash. He gets rid of worthless things and seeks the righteousness of Christ. Our flesh wants self righteousness, self justification and self exalting. That’s trash. It is waste, stuff to be flushed down the toilet. What we must seek after is Christ’s righteousness. That is what is worthwhile. Our self righteousness is filthy rags, menstrual cloths and grave clothes- despicable, disgusting things. Christ righteousness is fine white linen, something that will last forever in glory and splendor. Paul knew how to count correctly because he valued the knowledge of Christ over everything. In doing so he was able to flush the worthless things and seek after the valuable things.
Nikon D80 60mm 1/50 sec f/2.8 ISO-100