Sometimes I wish I was a good writer. Actually… I wish that more than sometimes. It’s pretty much constant. I love taking what I learn or what inspires me and turning it into something entertaining or informative. I like knowing that someone else could be inspired by something I said. But this kind of thing tends to diminish over the school year. Everything informative or inspiring gets sucked up into my brain and spit out on black-and-white essay exams. Over and over and over again. All of my time is spent in a textbook or in a word processor.
But I’m failing. And I don’t mean academically. I’ve always wanted to be a good, smart writer and an avid reader… but this suck-up and spit-out routine gets me nowhere. And it all boils down to how I’m reading what I’m reading. And recently this suck-up and spit-out routine, unfortunately, has included my time in the Bible.
You see, I tend to get comfortable with where I am in relation to my faith. I’m saved, I’m a preacher’s daughter, I’m a good example. Hey, I go to church every Sunday! Man, do I ever not need any improvement or what?! Ha, wrong. Very wrong. Grabbing little bits and pieces of spirituality and showing them off to the world won’t get me to the goal I’m trying to reach. So… I had to step back and relearn my goal, reevaluate my purpose for walking by faith. This required abandoning sight and trusting the Lord to open my eyes to the truth I was obviously missing. I had to drop the learning-it-because-I-have-to mode and commit to learning truth because I need it. So I did what I hadn’t done much of… I started to dig into the Bible. Philippians chapter 2 and 3. What I found hit me hard and challenged me to improve.
Paul’s Example (3:4-6)
Though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.
He doesn’t seem too bad at all. His reputation was fine. Paul was looking like he felt pretty good about himself. And he seemed a lot like me… until I read the following verses.
Paul’s Purpose (3:7-9)
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 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.
That was it. That’s what I was missing. THAT is my goal! For awhile I had let myself believe that counting all gain as just gain was good enough to get away with looking like I cared about being like Christ, when in reality… I didn’t care. I dropped the ball on that one. I jumped back into Philippians chapter 2 and found what Paul was talking about when he said, “that I may gain Christ.”
Christ’s Example (2:5)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
I followed the chapter, reading about the humility of Christ. Jesus was born a humble Savior. He died a humble Savior. He was eternally consistent in His purpose for coming to earth… for me. My Lord didn’t die so that I could gloat in His blood. He died to make me more like Him… to help me have the mind of Christ. To do exactly what Paul counted all gain as loss to do!
I need to learn to gain the humble mind of Christ and count as loss the work of my own hands. Sometimes I sin, pick and choose the aspects of Christianity I want to reveal, and fall flat on my face. But my ultimate goal should be to abandon the options of pick-and-choose and wholeheartedly count my blessings in humility and passionately worship my King with a servant’s heart… all for the glory of God. My Friend. My Father. My Savior. My Goal.
Philippians 3:8-9 (ESV)
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 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.