Gaining Christ

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Christianity ruined the life of Paul from a worldly point of view. No, it's true. If you look at the life of Paul strictly from a worldly viewpoint, Christianity destroyed his prestige and establishment in society. Look at it through his parent's eyes. Paul's parents had to have been so proud of him (when he was Saul). He had followed his father's footsteps, becoming a Pharisee (Acts 22:6), trained by one of the greatest rabbis in Jerusalem, Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). He was well respected by the Sanhedrin and most likely lived in a fancy house earning a comfortable salary. But all that changed on the road to Damascus.

After Saul of Tarsus was baptized into Christ and became the apostle Paul, his parents would have been hanging their heads in shame. Here was a man who had it all, the envy of his peers, and he sacrificed everything to follow a controversial preacher from Galilee. Many thought Paul had lost his mind (Acts 26:24). He was beaten, mocked and ridiculed. His world turned from comfort and popularity to ostracism and pain.

What drives a man to throw away what others long for? What did Paul see, or think he saw, that caused him to make such a radical change in his life? Did Paul ever regret giving up his life as a Jewish leader for Christianity? He once said,

7But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,

- Philippians 3:7-8

It doesn't sound like he regretted his decision to follow Christ. He called his worldly achievements "rubbish." Giving that up was like taking out the garbage in his eyes. Gaining Christ, Paul would say, is what matters. Is that your priority?