But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
My wife recently won hockey tickets to see the North Carolina Hurricanes play a visiting team from Phoenix. I’ve never been to a hockey game before, but needless to say, I was pretty excited about the opportunity. Just for curiosity’s sake, I got online and looked up the stadium to see where our seats would be located. Center ice, five rows back… you’ve got to be kidding me! Those are great seats! That’s when our dream came crashing down.
Taking a quick glance back at the ticket to ensure that I had read the section, row, and seats correctly, I noticed that the date of the game seemed vaguely familiar. Pulling out the calendar, it became obvious as to why I had recognized the date. Jake: Puppy School. You’ve got to be kidding me! Those were great seats! Unfortunately, a decision had to be made. Would Kristie and I give up our hockey tickets or the first session of doggy school?
Life is full of difficult decisions. When put into perspective, I guess our little hockey drama lies somewhere at the bottom of the list. It’s funny though, as mediocre as our latest decision appears when compared to events such as marriage, college, or living my life for Christ, they all have one very significant thing in common: All decisions are made on a basis of importance. Which of the two choices do I value more?
If you read Philippians 3:4-6, you’ll discover that Paul was living a pretty good life before turning his eyes towards Jesus. He was at the top of his field in every conceivable area of life. As recorded in verses 7 and 8, Paul had to make a value related decision. Would he give all that he obtained up for the Lord or hold on to it as his own?
Paul chose to count all he had gained “as loss for the sake of Christ.” That carries a little more weight than “counting hockey as loss for the sake of Jake.” It did move me to consider my values, though. Do I truly consider Christ and His gospel more valuable than that which I have obtained? Would I give up my time, my possessions, or my future if that were the only way I could continue living for Christ? Could you? To be honest, this won’t be as easy of a decision as it may first appear.
Before you start imagining grand scenarios such as leaving all you have to go on the mission field or accepting death rather than denying the Lord, I challenge you to look a little closer to home. Would you consider “an extra hour of sleep as loss for the sake of Christ?” What about a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday morning? Could you truly count your sleep, your free time, and your life as rubbish in order that you might gain Christ (v. 8)? What about your friends? Life is full of decisions. In the end, it will all come down to where you place your value.