The Appraisal

When Paul was saved, he reappraised his religious assets. Faith resulted in a new accounting of his life, and past achievements are now counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Encountering the risen Savior destroyed his self-confidence. He gives it all up for the sake of Christ. He didn’t say for the sake of religion. Multitudes of people suffer loss for the sake of religion. They give up earthly pleasures and comfort in order to fit in a system. He doesn’t say for the sake of guilt. This isn’t psychological. Many people kick bad habits, even really bad ones. In the end it was for Christ alone he cashed in his stock in himself. Everything he would use to prove to a fellow moralist that he was better is now shown to be useless anyway. Even if he did win the award for most righteous Pharisee, the righteousness wouldn’t have amounted to anything. All the individual pieces of righteous gain are fashioned into an idol of achievement, and then burned to the ground as one collective failure and loss. Only a true understanding of the gain of the Gospel will make us gladly throw away our tarnished treasures.

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