Philippians 3:4-7 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
More than anyone else, the Apostle Paul could have boasted of himself. He was a “Hebrew of Hebrews” with Pharisaical training and a zeal for the law. In fact, he was “blameless” concerning the law. In addition, he was intellectually sharp and and well-respected. By his own admission, he could have had “confidence in the flesh”. But he didn’t.
Every skill, talent, personality trait, and even his heritage was “counted loss for Christ”. This is true humility. Paul chose to put Christ first, recognizing that without Christ he could do nothing. (John 15:5) Paul served with the understanding that his ministry was not about him.
This had me thinking about how I serve. Do I sometimes serve in my own power? Do I trust my own talents and skills? If I am to accomplish great things for Jesus Christ, I have to put myself aside and exalt in the power of Christ. All things that are gain for me, I must count them as loss.
This is a challenge for every Christian and every church. We need to stop trusting in human effort alone in our service to God.