Anyone who knows me knows you would never find me without my phone. The “attached at the hip” phrase was probably created just for me. I am pretty sure you would agree also that if someone were to meet me for the first time, the 2 things they would quickly observe are my love for technology and my love for the German language. Paul challenged me today though to ask the question: Would they as quickly observe my love for Christ?
We read in Philippians that Paul tossed everything else in his life aside by comparison to the priority he placed on “gaining Christ” and “being found in him.” Specifically in this context, he was referring to his credentials as a Jew: taught by the best-Gamaliel, circumcised on the 8th day, best of educations at the time, and so on. He had come to the realization that none of this was of importance if it did not gain him Christ. If he didn’t come to know Christ better through it and if Christ was not an integral part of his entire life. Nothing surpassed Christ being found in him.
Is Christ found in us? Are we inseparable from Christ? Does our love for Christ push other things out of our life? Is He as integral to every decision I make, action I take, word I speak and time I spend as other things in my life? Paul was willing and did put anything and everything aside, whether it was the things he did in the past that he had the “right” to be proud of or the actions he took on a daily basis, for the sake of Christ. The comparable things in my life might mean not proving my worth by my college degree or job I held prior to having children. For you, it might mean not basing your worth in your grades or the sports you may have played in school. Instead, while still pursuing these things with excellence, it would mean being found in Christ would reign above all else. I might include someone giving up participation in a sport if the influence of that team caused them to walk in sin and away from the Lord. It might mean switching jobs to one that pays less if the demands of the current job took us away from our family and church activities too much. It could simply mean giving up sleep to spend time with the Lord. The cost will differ for each person.
The bottom line: “Gaining Christ” does come with a cost. Don’t misunderstand me-you can’t do a single solitary thing to save yourself. But, once saved, a life in Christ will require obedience and some sacrifices. Gaining something will never come without losing something else-the question you want to ask is: “Is it worth it?” In this case, it most definitely is. These types of decisions are not easy. I don’t think Paul found them to be simple choices, and we too, may struggle as we grow in our life in Christ. But, one thing is for sure-being “attached at the hip” with Christ, or found “in him” is absolutely, positively worth it.