Reorienting Your Priorities

Read: Philippians 3:1-11

I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (v. 8)

Disappointment comes when you can’t get something you think you need. And while that is natural, it’s also an opportunity to ask: “What am I really living for?”

How you answer this question shows your true priorities. Most Christians will say that they are living for Christ. But if you honestly examine your heart you may find that, while Christ is part of your life, you are actually living for something else. Tim Keller defines an idol as any good thing that has become an ultimate thing—when you take something other than God and make it your reason for being. If the prospect of losing that thing fills you with anger or anxiety, you may be guilty of idolatry.

Philippians 3:7-11 is the heart of the letter and the key to Paul’s entire ministry. Paul knows that even if everything else is taken away from him—liberty, health, life itself—nothing can take away what Christ has done for him. And nothing in the world can compare with what Jesus has given Paul. This knowledge has penetrated the apostle to his core and fills him with joy.

The Christian life is about getting to the point where we can echo Paul’s words: everything else is nothing, compared with knowing Christ. When Jesus is truly the center of your life, all other desires take second place. Is something that you want more real to you than the love of Jesus Christ?

As you pray, ask God to teach you to find your joy in him.

About the Author

Jane Olson is a college counselor and high school teacher. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and children.

This entry is part 8 of 15 in the series Habits of a Thankful Heart