Don’t get mad at me. Paul said it.
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. Philippians 3:7-9
Paul is talking about the things he used to do to gain favor with God.
In modern terms, he means that all the church attendance, charitable gifts, whole days he went without cussing. He was talking about all the trophies and awards he won for memorizing the Torah, and all the times he worked hard to keep his image clean.
He called it all “garbage”!
Funny thing about the word, “garbage.” He didn’t use the word, “garbage.” Rather, he used a much more graphic word. In Greek, it’s the word, “skubala.”
If you were to translate “skubala” into our modern language today, it would come out as a word that any kid would get sent to detention for saying. You and I know it as “the S word.”
Yeah. Paul said that. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Here’s the take-away for me: God’s gift of grace is just that – grace. It’s a gift. Freely-given and full of love. He tells us that life is meant to be lived under His law, but He never ever told us that we had to follow the law to earn His love.
God absolutely loves you. Not your stuff. Not what you can bring Him. Not your trophies, awards, WWJD bracelets, Christian t-shirts or man-made affirmations. His love transcends all that.
He loves you when you forget about Him. He loves you when you turn away. He loves you when you surround yourself with people that hate Him. He loves you when you hate Him.
Let’s stop presenting our religion to Him as if it’s going to earn us right standing with Him. Your religion isn’t worth anything. Our Heavenly Father wants your heart.