What’s your greatest achievement? How impressive is your résumé? What sets you apart? What is your passion? What do you do better than others?
One of the greatest and most intelligent leaders in history was a man named Saul of Tarsus. He lived in the first century and was a very promising up and coming Jewish rabbi. His list of achievements is impressive: “circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:5-6).
Saul, later known as Paul, was the cream of the crop in the Jewish religion. After he met Jesus, he successfully reasoned with many, many people, convincing them that Jesus was the Christ. He was responsible for planting churches, spreading the gospel, and writing a good portion of the New Testament.
He considered all of his accomplishments “rubbish,” in comparison to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ. Both his past (Philippians 3:7) and present (Philippians 3:8) he counts as loss. The King James Version of the bible uses the word “dung.” Paul considered everything in his life a pile of manure, compared to knowing Jesus. What a powerful sentiment!
Paul was a man who was apprehended by an insatiable desire to know Jesus. He was a man who had seen Jesus in a vision, who had been used by Jesus, and who was encouraged by Jesus, and yet he wanted to know Jesus more.
Likewise, all of our achievements, passions, and skills are manure compared to knowing Jesus. Knowing Jesus is the greatest knowledge we could ever have. I want to pursue Him more fervently and love Him more deeply. I pray that is your desire as well.