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…
Gain is something you earned, you worked for, you acquired or you inherited. Something that was given as a reward for your investment or hard work; or something that was given to you by birth (by the country or the family you were born into).
What kind of gains we have in life? Here are a few that are important to us all:
- money we earned
- position or place in our society we worked for
- carrier we have struggled for
- relationships we have invested in
- family we have made so much sacrifices for
- hard-earned recognition and reputation
- cultural, national, racial identity
- all we have acquired through our relationships, position and possession
In order to gain Christ and to know God – as Paul instructs us – all we have gained will need to be considered rubbish (waste, trash, useless). Think about that for a moment. Look through that list again. To gain the knowledge of Christ we need to be willing to give up any or all that’s on that list. Costly. And yet, too many Christians think that they can gain the knowledge of God without giving up anything. Too many believers want to know God without willing to suffer the pain of losses.
Personalizing Paul’s statement will make it even harder: “Whatever I have achieved in my carrier, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ…”, or “Regardless of what impacts it will have on my family, kids, parents, reputation, position, possessions, I will count all that as loss for the sake of Christ…”
The true knowledge of God is always costly, it won’t be ours without painful losses. We cannot know Christ without giving up and loosing things that are dear to us.
What we invest our life, time, resources into will tell what we want to gain.
In our so many goals in life, we loose the ultimate goal: to gain Christ. The ultimate goal in life is not gaining more “stuff” but to gain more of Christ!
Something needs to go. What we give up will tell what we value. Either we are willing to loose all we have gained (the list and + above) or we have to give up the surpassing, excellent knowledge of Christ. Of course it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy all those things in the list above, but there are times when some or all on that list need to be given up so that we could gain Christ.
“He waits to be wanted.” “How tragic that we in this dark day had our seeking done for us by our teachers.” A.W. Tozer. That’s why Christians live in religious complexity and we don’t experience the simplicity found in Christ.
What are your losses that you gave up to gain Christ? If you don’t have a list yet, it worth starting it now. The gain of knowing Him is incomparably more valuable than all what you could acquire in life.
If we, as believers are pursuing gaining the same things this world is pursuing, then why do we expect the world to accept our truth? We are no different than the world when we pursue the same gains and are not willing to exchange those to gain the knowledge of Christ. Our willingness to lose the gains will prove the gospel.
If Christians would truly start knowing Him, this world would start changing.