We live in a society that encourages us to boast about ourselves. In order to make it in corporate America or advance your career in any venue, you need to be able to “sell yourself.” You need to possess the skills necessary to convince potential employers that you are what they have been searching for: bright, intelligent, and knowledgeable in your field. We have been indoctrinated so much with this sense that our accomplishments determine our success and who we are that one of the first questions we ask someone when we meet them is, “What do you do?” We are categorized and summed up by our occupations and “standing” in life and our worth seems to reside in “what we do.”
Paul came to understand that his life’s standing and what he was able to accomplish in his culture was merely a microcosm of who he was and really, not worth much at all compared to who he desired to be in Christ. Yes, Paul could boast about his accomplishments: he was a scholar, a Jew of all Jews, a prominent and important leader in his community and temple, but he counted all those things as rubbish, loss, or as interpreted in the KJV: manure. WOW! What a statement! To think nothing of all the works that he had done and the standing that he attained!
Out of all those things that Paul had accomplished, he merely wanted to “know Christ!” We say we know Christ. We go to church, some of us at least 3 times a week, but do we really know Him? The Amplified Bible says, 8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. Is that what we desire or are we satisfied with the praise we seek to receive when we list our accomplishments to others and we boast in our abilities? What you “do” should only be a microcosm of who you are, and not even worthy of boasting as you seek a more intimate, understanding and personal relationship with Christ and knowing Him!
c/2009 Candie A. Price