Paul never shied away from sharing about the power of Jesus’ forgiveness and transformation in Him. Paul willingly used his life as an illustration when he talked with people. He took ownership of his choices and his sins. This passage in Philippians is an example of his witness.
Prior to his birth, Paul’s background was already stellar. His lineage was pure and legitimate. At the innocent age of eight days old, the Hebrew tradition of circumcision was performed. In his quest to join the ranks of the elite, Paul grew up mingling with the elite crowds of religious folk. He was groomed to do right and be right by some of the best leaders and teachers among the Pharisees.
Equipped with this résumé, Paul felt empowered to serve his religion. If anyone dared to believe or claim anything different than what he knew, Paul took it upon himself to see that they were persecuted and aptly punished.
This long list of accolades gave Paul purpose.
He moved boldly, confident in his own abilities. He had made a name for himself, establishing a reputation that was widely known.
If social media had existed in Paul’s day, he posts would have gone viral.
And yet, despite his expertise, something was missing.
Paul had been living without knowing or believing in Jesus. When Paul finally did meet Jesus, he realized that his seemingly perfect life was perfectly unbalanced. Jesus is incomparable. He is the One that Paul would never be able to out-perform.
The value of Paul’s great accolades and achievements dimmed in the shadow of Christ’s sacrifice.
Paul’s worth wasn’t based on his merits but in what Christ had done for him. Paul never fought this shift in mindset. Instead, he embraced it, serving God wholeheartedly.
He now had a new purpose in life: to share the love of Christ with everyone.
This message is relevant for us, especially today. We’re bombarded with mixed messages everywhere, urging us to be the best, to do more, and to stand out. Our confidence should — supposedly — be directly proportional to our achievements: the more we do, the more confident we should feel. No one else will appreciate us if we don’t do it for ourselves. But this is not true.
There is One who loves us simply because He created us. Let’s keep our focus on Christ and remember that we are valuable because of what He has done for us.
Today: Read Philippians 3:4-7