What are you willing to give up to receive something better? Are you willing to give up your old clothes to receive new ones? Are you willing to give up your old way of thinking to pursue a new one? Are you willing to give up seeking hard evidence for faith?
We pursue better things throughout our lives. Parents seek to give their children better lives than they had. We look for better, more fulfilling jobs. We listen to new ideas in hopes of them providing a better pursuit of happiness.
When Jesus came to conduct His ministry and give Himself up for us, He changed everything. He reset the value of everything on earth. But our yearning for things in this life can quickly cast aside what is most valuable. We often seek the immediate by sacrificing the future.
For example, I’ve seen people spend their money on a five-dollar trinket that will give them pleasure for a day or two, then be tossed aside, rather than saving their money for something that will have a lasting use. I have, at times, done the expedient to tide me over, rather than holding off to do what will last much longer.
As we see in today’s passage, Paul has considered everything on this earth as garbage compared to Jesus. I don’t believe Paul discarded everything, but I do believe he realized nothing on this earth could hold a candle to Jesus. Paul knew with all his heart and mind that being a follower of Jesus far outweighed any other achievement he might have on earth.
This attitude does not completely cast-off earthly pursuits. It does put them into perspective. It causes us to ask how our pursuits and achievements fit into Jesus’ plan for our lives. We seek to do everything, including our work, relationships, and even purchases with the mindset of Christ.
I pray we all seek to do everything with Jesus in mind. I pray we put Jesus first in our lives. I pray each one of us will pursue the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus. Put earthly pursuits in perspective. Seek to do everything for Jesus. Change your attitude. Seek the best.
Philippians 3:8-9 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of 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 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.