In today’s Scripture, Paul shares about all he had to rely on in the flesh, which refers to his physical and outward advantages. In the next few verses he goes on to list the reasons why he was found blameless and without fault in terms of the Law and in terms of worldly appearances. It all points to outside achievements and social standing. Doesn’t this sound relevant for today too? The materialistic world looks at you through lenses that judge you by the way you look, the way you dress, perform, how assertive you are, how informed you are, where you live and many more examples.
Sometimes you may feel quite intimidated by worldly judgements and standards. This isn’t a very nice place to find yourself in, since it taps into your self-worth, if you allow it to. So, what do you do with all this? Do you feel offended and, in turn, judge back by criticising people and society in general? Or do you want to crawl under a rock and hide away?
This is quite a natural reaction when we feel judged and hurt by callous opinions. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help you come out from under the judgement, since you are actually doing exactly the same. It won’t make you feel any better and it certainly isn’t God’s truth over you.
If you long to invite God’s truth over you into your heart, you need to navigate away from this negative spiral. You can start by taking the first step and turning to God in your hurt and offence. Tell Him how you are feeling. Share your heart with Him. Sometimes we need to just ‘put the people involved aside’ and look at the situation from a distance.
We have a tree in our garden that is eventually going to be too big for the space it’s in, so I have been asking for advice on how to start pruning it, as a young tree. The best thing I have learnt, is to step away from the tree and look at it from a distance. In this way, I can see the whole tree and not just the branches. By doing this, it has been much easier to see which branches need to be pruned. I do this every once in a while, and our tree is looking good! In the same way it helps so much to step back and ask God what He sees in the situations we are facing. He sees the whole picture and understands far better than you realise, because He has been there in that same place of rejection. He overcame the world by focusing on His Father in Heaven, by forgiving and by knowing His worth in the Lord.
Let us grow from Paul’s words in verse 8: ‘Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),’ (Philippians 3:8).
Rest in Him, because what really matters is God’s truth over You.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, my worth is in You firstly and in You alone. You see me for who I am and know my heart and all that I am. People’s opinions and worldly judgements don’t define me when it doesn’t represent Your truth. Strengthen me in You, Lord, so that I can shine Your light no matter what the circumstances I find myself in. Amen.
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