Take Out the Trash
By Kristen Terrette
“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…” Philippians 3:8
I like garbage pickup day. This might seem strange, but I enjoy tossing out unclean, hazardous, unneeded, and unwanted things. I like getting rid of trash.
Before his conversion, Saul, the author of today’s verse, liked ridding cities of first century Christians like I enjoy cleansing my house of trash. He worked tirelessly for God (he thought) as a proud Jewish man, a Hebrew of Hebrews (v. 5). He persecuted, condemned, and helped murder Christians—all “for God.” He was a rule follower. One could say he basically held a Ph.D. in following the Old Testament Law.
One day Saul, also called Paul, met the One he’d been waiting for, the Savior, Who had already come, lived a sinless life, died, and rose again. Through this encounter, Saul learned he had been hindering rather than helping God’s purpose. For a time, he was struck blind.
Then, God miraculously opened Saul’s eyes (Acts 9).
With that experience, everything about Saul changed—his beliefs, job, and friends. Everything that previously defined him died. A new man was born through Christ. Every part of Paul’s former life was lost.
Yet he was happy about that, because he realized knowing Christ was the most valuable and precious part of his existence.
When we become Christians, leaving behind our old life can be a struggle. We can learn much from Paul’s example. If this rule-follower became known as a Christ-follower, then we, too, can set aside sins and ungodly attitudes, as we would trash for the garbage truck.
Kristen Terrette holds a Master's degree in Theological Studies and served as a Children's Ministry Director for five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives 45 minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. She’s following her dream by writing Christian fiction during the day and being a wife and mom come early afternoon when the family starts to arrive home. She also serves on the Wholly Loved Ministries team, serves at her local church on the women's leadership team, and writes for Crosswalk.com. To see her blog and novels, check out her website.
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Originally published Monday, 30 September 2019.