whatever was to my profit, i count it all as loss, compared to the surpassing grace of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake i have lost all things.
i read these words today and they cut straight to my heart. thinking about the trivialities of life that my heart gets caught up in, that i am no where near counting these things as unimportant or seeing them with indifference, let alone counting them as loss. paul's words are bold and challenging. what's getting in the way of knowing christ? too much sleep? too little sleep? busyness? relationships? laziness? building a reputation? paul challenges us to count it all as LOSS. to hate it. to repent of it. to see it as the horrific distraction from the REAL TREASURE that is CHRIST HIMSELF. Jonah 2:8 declares that "those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs". the grace is Christ himself and the surpassing joy of knowing him. the idols are anything but Christ that distract us and vye for our ultimate affection.
i have to know that paul's words are implying a battle that must be fought. he brings the heat when he says to count these things as loss, to declare them rubbish. there's an intensity in his approach to anything that gets in the way of his affection for Christ. satan must take great joy in satiating me with such easy distractions as my own comfort, legalistic busyness and emotional hangups. its time to hate the ploys that alter my eyes from the true treasure of Christ.
what comfort there is in knowing that we were created by Him and for Him thus anything but Him won't be enough. it makes us search and strive, it makes us long and groan and ache and desire nothing apart from that which can satisfy- we must know and believe that that is Christ himself. our precious Savior is the only one able to combat the sinfulness, the futility, the neediness, the pain, that is our humanity. nothing else will do.
i pray for eyes to see Christ, a heart that longs for Him above all, and the strength to fight for my affections to remain rooted in Him.