I've been reading Philippians for the few months. It's one of my favoite books of the Bible so I read it often. But this time I determined to read only one verse a day and really consider the meaning of each verse. I'm in chapter 3 and, wow!, there is so much here!! Verse 7 has me stopped ...
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ."
Whew ... that's a lot to take in!
So I asked myself these questions, "What is to my profit?" "What do I claim as valuable in me?" "Am I prepared to lay that down - to count it LOSS for the sake of Christ?" Those are some tough questions. It goes back to denying myself ... I get that. But then, God just kept showing me the answers about what it is that I am holding up as valuable ... as my profit ... and those things are deep within me, those emotions and attitudes that I am holding tight with clinched hands.
I have this great Hebrew-Greek Key Word Bible. It has the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek dictionaries and OT Hebrew and NT Greek lexicons ... I love this Bible. Anyway, I looked up "consider" from verse 7.
Consider - hegeomai - to bring, lead. To lead or go before, go first (Acts 14:12); to govern, rule, whether in a secular sense (Acts 7;10) or in a spiritual one (Heb. 13:7, 17, 24). To think, consider (Acts 26:2, 2 Cor. 9:5, Phil. 2:3, 1 Thess. 5:13)
Of course, that led me to looking up all the other verses ... especially the ones from the definition "to think, consider." Here are the two that stood out to me ~
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 Hold them (those who are over you) in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
OUCH! Those two verses are where God led me ... "in humility consider others better" and "live in peace with one another." I immediately KNEW what God was telling me. I have an issue that I must trust to His care. A person who has hurt me who I must learn to live in peace with, who I must learn to consider better than myself. Not for my sake but for Christ's sake. Out of obedience ... because it certainly isn't out of a desire at this point. I don't want to let this go ... I want to hold on tight. That "live in peace" literally means "to put an end to strife." Ugh ... that cut deep! I don't want to be the one who has to initiate this ... to apologize, to reach out. I want to be RIGHT!
But my heart is torn ... I want to be RIGHT ... but I also long for RIGHTEOUSNESS. And righteousness can only come through submission, through obedience. I can asking myself which I want more ... to be right or to be righteous. I know it shouldn't be hard, the answer is really easy ... but getting there from here ... that is hard.