Forget the Credentials
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.8 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 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Every two weeks, our garbage is collected by the city. In the past before there was recycling, you didn’t think much about what went into the garbage. You put everything in and expect the city to pick it up and away from our neighbourhood. Global warming and limited space for landfills have spurred cities to invest in recycling programs. Millions of dollars are spent to create a program for the citizens to reduce their garbage and to encourage recycling.
Paul had very high credentials as a Jew. He can brag that he was a Jew’s Jew, being circumcised on the eighth day, belong to the tribe of Benjamin, being a faultless Pharisee following the law and having a zealous attitude. He didn’t want to put any of his confidence in any of his great accomplishments in the past. He didn’t want to recycle his credentials in the new Church. He considered it garbage and considered knowing Christ far more enriching in his life than anything else he learned or experienced. It’s a tough calling when we sometimes rely on our expertise or our education to establish our worth. However, he is saying that knowing Christ is better than any of our credentials.