Online Bible Commentary
How Do You Determine Your Worth?
Philippians 3:4 If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 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. (NIV)
The apostle Paul writes of how he determined his worth prior to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. He was at the top of his field, a very religious man (vv 4-5). He was the best of the Pharisees at persecuting Christians, and he was proud of what he had achieved (v. 6).
Then he had the experience of God’s judgment when he was struck down and temporarily blinded by God on the road to Damascus. His whole life changed after that experience. He found his worth by devoting himself to Jesus.
Paul lost much in making the decision to follow Christ (v. 7), including friends, family, his high position in the religious order, and finances. However, he considered all of that to be “garbage” in comparison to what he gained through following Christ (v. 8).
He lost what we might call self-righteousness, the “righteousness of my own” (v. 9a). His high standing in the community and with the religious leaders had given him a false sense of worth, that which comes from the world.
However, Paul gained much more than he lost. He lost self righteousness and gained the righteousness of God, “the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith” (v. 9b). He found a new way to live life, a way that gained for him the righteousness of God.
People have many different ways to determine their worth, but God has only one way. His way is the best way, the only way that counts eternally. His way starts with making the decision to be a Christ follower, a Christian.
Making the decision to follow Christ means turning over your heart to Him. When you do that He changes your heart by changing the things you want to do. In the beginning it feels like you are giving up a lot, but as God works on you He changes your “want to’s”. You no longer want to do the things you used to do, so it does not feel like you have lost anything.
It is not a matter of giving up things, but growing up. You no longer feel pressured to live up to the standards of the world. The more Christ-like you become the more worth you have in the eyes of God.
God blesses what He sees as valuable. His idea of value is different than all the ways that the world perceives value. When you make God the boss of your life, you will be worth more than anything in the eyes of the only one who counts, God.