Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith… (Philippians 3:8–9)
The Apostle Paul’s teaching about loss and gain only makes sense through the eyes of faith.
In American society we see loses as negatives:
- When we lose car keys, we can’t even drive the car to replace the keys.
- When our team loses in a tournament, our team can be champions.
- When interest rates drop, we experience losses in investments.
- When we “lose our cool” we pay with hurt or broken relationships.
- When we lose sight of our priorities, we fail to reach our goals.
Yet Paul says we could lose almost everything and actually experience the greatest conceivable gain. How is this possible?
Once we have received the gift of faith from God the Father, we know Jesus. The knowledge of Jesus is of unsurpassable worth. In fact, knowing Jesus is so valuable it is worth losing everything else, even our lives.
But won’t we grieve what we lose when we receive this gift of Christ? Sometimes there is grief. We lose valuing something else as most in life, whether it be career or wealth or family. We lose being the center of our own lives.
Given time, God addresses these loses. In time, knowing Christ becomes what matters the most to us. In this life, sin will challenge Jesus’ supremacy in our lives. The day is coming when we’ll be with Jesus, and at that point Jesus will permanently become the center of our existence.
(A Second Look devotions are written for the congregations of the Ohio District LCMS.)