Tuesday, December 21, 2010
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Day 8 of contentment. I don't know about you...but the road to contentment hasn't been as easy as it sounds. There are so many components of selflessness and trust on this journey- and our flesh rages against those things.
Today's lesson is no less difficult. Today's lesson challenges us to take a look at our life from the bigger picture. Paul challenges us to consider what really matters in this world and turn our backs on all other things.
Paul starts off by discussing all the things that he can boast in...all the amazing things in his life, all that he had earned, all that he hadachieved. He lists these things and then he says that compared to knowing Christ- all that stuff is just garbage. What a perspective. To him, knowing Jesus was so much greater than all of that "stuff". He had learned not to get caught up in the things this world had to offer- and look up and something even greater: his God.
I don't know about you, but for me that is a hard perspective to grasp. It's hard to wake up everyday and remember that this life is just the background. All this stuff get's in the way. All the things we have and all the things we want. All the things we strive for in this life. And not just the good things, but even the bad. I might even be able to say, especially the bad. It seems as though that when I am going through something difficult, it's even easier to let that thing take up my entire vision.
You see, I'm easily distracted. At times, it feels as though I have a form of spiritual ADD. It's not natural for me to live my life remembering that nothing matters more than knowing Jesus. And not just to remember it, but to live that out.
Paul had learned a contentment that could never be taken away from him, because he had learned to compare everything he went to in his life to that which was even better. He didn't settle to live for that which was good, he lived for the greater things. He lived to know God each and every single day. In the triumphs and in the suffering- he allowed God to take center stage in his life. And from this he was never distracted.
That perspective will bring us to true contentment. When God is magnified in our life, all of a sudden things don't seem so bad.
May God grant us the the gift of whole-hearted focus on who He is. May He give us the desire to know Him more, and may that desire supersede any other thing that may distract us from this calling. May we learn to consider everything in our life as garbage, compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lessons Learned by Debra Fileta at 6:43 PM