Where Is Your Treasure?
“But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.
-Philippians 3: 7-11
What is the treasure of your life? After March Madness, hopefully your treasure wasn’t in a perfect NCAA tournament bracket. But if, for example, our relationship with Jesus Christ is truly of utmost importance, then our time, energies, and day-to-day lifestyles should reflect that. Does it?
In Philippians 3, Paul communicates that what he once considered “gain” (when he was a Pharisee) he now considers “loss.” Just before those verses above, Paul stated in verses 5-6 that he had a great family heritage, social status, biblical knowledge, and even led a moral lifestyle. But when he came into a relationship with Christ, he realized that apart from the Lord, all of it was "loss."
One thing we must understand is that all of these things that Paul had were good things. It’s not wrong to be in a great family, to have a job that pays well, to be intelligent, or even to desire these things. But Paul is saying that these things—and even things like March Madness fever—are worthless (even dangerous) if they take our focus away from knowing Christ more and more. Yes, even if it was only for a four-week period of great college basketball.
It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the things of this life, especially in sports. After March Madness, we have the Masters, the start of Major League Baseball. We have spring football, track meets, and softball tournaments. We also have cares regarding health care reform, where to go to college, or our search for a job. Yes, we do have a responsibility to take appropriate action in many of these examples, but we must keep in mind that Paul says nothing is to get in the way of us gaining more of Christ.
If we are truly in line with Him, we will be able to enjoy and participate in sports without putting them above our pursuit of Him and growing in sanctification. As athletes and coaches, we all have a desire to be successful, and maybe even to matter. However, let us learn from Scripture that the only life that truly matters is the life that is lived in Christ and for Christ.
1. What things in your life are pulling your focus away from knowing Christ more?
2. What do you treasure most?
3. What can you do to refocus when you realize you’ve lost sight of Christ as your treasure?
4. What are some ways that you can better exhibit Him as the treasure of your life?
Matthew 5:48; 6:21
2 Corinthians 7:1; 13:11
1 Peter 1:1-2