For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ…” vss. 8b-9aPhilippians 3:8-9
Paul knew what it was like to have a righteousness that was based on the law. He had spent his entire life paying attention to the details of ritual and ceremony that were at the core of the religious life, and he was good at it. At one point he had even been proud of his perfection. But when he met the resurrected Christ he realized in an instant that those things didn’t have anything to do with living a God-pleasing life. There’s a higher righteousness than simply following rules and showing up in church on Sunday. It becomes ours when we give up trying to be good and instead trust Christ. That way we’re not constantly going over the tapes of each day and trying to figure out where we went wrong or where we messed up. Doing that sort of thing is a great way to increase anxiety or depression, but it doesn’t do a thing for our well-being. Of course we’re going to fall short–that’s what sinners do! We’ve been doing it for years. But God isn’t in the reviewing game, constantly picking at our weaknesses, God is all about transformation and in Christ we are given daily fresh starts and regular cleansing. And it’s all a gift!
Thought for the Day: When have I come closest to living a perfect life?