But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
Paul makes a value judgment when contrasting what he was and what he possessed in the past with his new life lived out for the cause of Christ.
The term “value judgment” is often restricted to assessments that reveal the values of the person making the judgment rather than the objective realities of what is being assessed. One reason may be because the value of the objectives can be subjective. Therefore the reasoning of the person making the judgment receives greater attention. In matters of life both are important.
What Paul assessed about Jesus Christ is that through Christ, righteousness is obtained by faith and the power of the resurrection experienced (vv.8-10.) What is revealed about the person of the Apostle Paul was his disinterest in holding onto earthly achievements or establishing righteousness under his own application of the Law. He assessed that being found in Christ gave new aspirations – 1. The possibility of having an intimate connection with Christ, 2. The possibility of experiencing resurrection power, and 3.The possibility of becoming like Christ in his death. The journey for achieving those possibilities was on a pathway of suffering that Paul believed yielded greater value than anything he could possibly have or wish with earthly wishes. Paul was willing to suffer to gain Christ.
You may espouse Jesus Christ is great. You may say he has given you great blessings. Yet the real proof is whether you value having a close, intimate relationship with him, a worth surpassing all you have and may aspire or the journey may lead. Does it? How you spend your time, set your schedule and face the challenges set before you, speak volumes about your value judgments.
"Jesus is all the world to me my life, my joy, my all…" Will L Thompson, 1904
--E.C. Malone 09/11/15