The Biggest Loser

Philippians 3:7-9 7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

I’m a sucker for watching people’s lives be transformed. It’s one of my favorite things to do.  That’s probably why I enjoy shows like The Biggest Loser.  I haven’t watched the show much before this season, but as I watch, I see this physical transformation taking place in these people.  They are not only dealing with the weight, however.  They are also dealing with the emotional stuff that got them there.  It’s a brilliant concept for a show – one that I mocked when it first came out.  The Biggest Loser?  Sounds lame.  But the paradox of the person who loses the most ends up being the winner is really a good idea.

Now this concept of losing is somewhat anti-cultural, except in the case of weight loss.  Society tells me that I should strive to be a self-made man.  Winning has become everything.  In fact it has gone so far that now we tell everybody they are a winner – even when it’s not true.  Win win win win win win win win win!  The problem is that it all depends on my striving.  It depends on my ability to pull it off.

Paul took a different route to victory.  He was truly the biggest loser.  In Philippians 3, he tells us that he has every reason to be the greatest man among men. He has all of the qualifications necessary.  He’s got Hebrew nationality combined with Roman citizenship.  He has tradition, religious upbringing, and even the life to show for it.  Instead of putting all of his stock in his qualifications, he chose instead to lose them.  He considered them a loss, garbage, junk, worthless stuff.  Because when you stack all of our qualifications next to the immeasurable greatness of Jesus, it just looks silly.

So Paul made the decision to be found in Jesus rather than being found in all the stuff he had going for him.  It was so much more worth it to know Jesus fully than to hang onto the worldly ideals that would advance him.  I think we are faced with a similar choice.  We can put our confidence in ourselves and what we have going for us or we can put our confidence in Christ.  We can either rely on ourselves to get our lives straight or we can count on the righteousness of Jesus to handle it.  The clear choice for me is to be found in Jesus.  I want to be found in Him, known by Him, defined by Him.  But I’ve got to be willing to lose in order to win. So today I will strive, like Paul, to become the Biggest Loser.

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