When you consider what Paul achieved as a missionary, church planter, theologian, writer, preacher, and leader of early Christianity, it’s easy to be impressed. We have appropriately esteemed him as a hero of the faith. If he were alive today everyone would want to go to his church. What is more difficult for us to understand was his condition at the time all this was happening. He was anything but admirable. He was not riding the wave of ministry success. On the contrary, he reminds the Philippians that his whole purpose in life was following Christ…for whom I have suffered the loss of all things. Can we follow a person who has lost everything because of who they chose to follow? What performance indicators were used? If you chose to follow Paul’s example you also had to partake in the consequences of his actions. Hunger, abuse, and ridicule are not typical selling points. Christians followed Paul in his day, and consider him heroic in our day, because Christ was shining through him as the essential goal. Anyone will follow and pay the price is they see Christ. True believers want to be saved by him, and also shaped by him.