Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. Philippians 3:8-9
Interestingly, we often introduce ourselves by our profession or something we do when we introduce ourselves. We say, “I am a teacher, I am an accountant, I am a doctor, I am an artist, etc.” The truth is these ways of defining us only scratch the surface of who we are. We are family members, funny, academic, caring, passionate, and so much more. Not to mention, what happens if we lose our jobs or change careers? This changes what we do, but not who we are. There has to be a better place to look for our identity than what we do. Actually, the better place to look is a Person, and that is Christ.
If anyone had a right to find their identity in their own accomplishments and good things they had done, it was the apostle Paul. He was taught by one of the best teachers in the world, knew Scripture, and had a great job as a Jewish rabbi. Yet after He encountered Jesus, he counted all of these things as “worthless” and “garbage” compared to knowing Christ (Philippians 3:8-9). None of those elements meant anything to his identity once He met Jesus. Instead, knowing Christ became everything Paul was about.
Have you been looking for your identity in the things you have done? Have you found yourself striving and working to be “good enough” and “acceptable?” Then, my friend, it’s time to stop striving. It is time, instead, to look to Jesus for our identities. After all, nothing compares to knowing Him.
Write out the verse of the day today in your journal or a notebook. After writing this verse, write about how it speaks directly to your own identity. How would knowing, believing this, and living like you believe it impact how you view yourself daily? How can you commit to living for this identity today?
Philippians 3:1-11 (NLT)
" Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!"
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