Letting Go...Gaining All
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 (Philippians 3:7-8).
Ever held on to something you knew wasn’t good for you? We likely all have at some point or another. It seems so good and right, but ultimately it’s not. I bet we also hold on to things we don’t yet know are bad for us. Perhaps we know subconsciously, but don’t want to face it.
Take a minute to read Philippians 3:1-14 in Eugene Peterson’s The Message (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+3%3A1-14&version=MSG). It’s powerful.
Here are a couple of questions to consider while reading:
1- What does Paul have to say about “religious busy bodies,” do-gooders, rule-keepers, and those who value great religious credentials? (v 2-5)
2- What am I very proud of? Should I be? Is it pride properly placed? (v 7-9)
3- What did Paul want more than his religious pedigree and qualifications? Why? (v 9-11)
One quick story. Lots of times as a wife, mom, daughter, friend, employee, I feel pressure to do all the right things. I overextend myself so that I can make sure I’m doing all the good God wants. After all, He tells us to love Him with all our heart and soul, and to love others super well. I want to do just that! “I must be busy about his commands,” I think. It’s up to me to get everything just right.
Thank goodness God has patiently and gently walked with me through many difficult times brought on from these “religious busy-body” tendencies I have. Thank goodness He always loves me and has never stopped nudging me to LET GO. Let go of trying to do all that is right and perfect. Let go of religiosity. Let go of self-righteousness. Let go, and let Him.
As I’ve slowly released my hold on lifeless me-centered pursuits, He’s given me immeasurably more than I can achieve on my own. These gifts extend far beyond my reach. They are richer and fuller than I ever could have imagined. God’s bounty flows freely, and it comes so simply. I am so very blessed. Thanks be to God.
What am holding on to that I hope will qualify me before you, God? What is far better than that? How are you calling me to open up my grip on old lifeless ways so that you can fill my heart and life with so much more? Thank you. Amen.