I was trying to think the other day of something where, if you gained, it was actually a loss. What would it be? You have a gain, but really it should be counted as a loss.
The first thing that comes to mind is if you’re trying to lose weight. You step on the scale, you see that you’ve gained three pounds — well, you would probably think of that as a loss. You had lost ground in reaching your goal. That’s an example of counting your gain, as loss.
But there’s another area in which things you might otherwise consider as gain really ought to considered a loss, if they get you off track from reaching your goal. And that is in the matter of righteousness (virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking,feeling, and they way we act) and also finally attaining the goal of eternal life.
The things that people ordinarily would consider to be gain can actually cause you to miss out on reaching true righteousness and eternal life. And if you look at it that way, you ought to be, “Counting Your Gain as Loss.”
Here is your righteousness, my friends! Here is your eternal salvation. It is in Christ. Christ Jesus your Lord, who suffered loss when he went to the cross, to suffer and die as your Savior. When He did this, willingly, Jesus gained perfect righteousness for you before God, his holiness in exchange for your sinfulness.
All those things that you might consider gain before God — how good of a person you are, all the good things that you do — instead, do like Paul did and count them as useless waste. The Greek word Paul uses here could literally be translated as “dung”*! That’s what a religious title and your resume amount to!
No, the one big gain you have is Christ, knowing him and being found in him. Jesus has made you his own, cleansing you from your sins and taking you to himself.
His integrity is your integrity. His resurrection paves the way for your resurrection. Now, you can do all those good service things, not in order to earn anything before God, but instead doing those good works out of love for God and for the good of your neighbors. Because now you know where your true righteousness lies, and that is, in Christ.
“Counting Your Gain as Loss.” That’s what Paul did, as he says: “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. . . . [I] count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”
Yes, counting your gain as loss works when what you gain in their place is Christ.
*Dung: σκύβαλον skubalon skoo’-bal-on
Neuter of a presumed derivative of G1519 and G2965 and G906; what is thrown to the dogs, that is, refuse (ordure): – dung.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.