Dr. Linda Stratford – “Profit and Loss”
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.” – Philippians 3:7
The language of profit and loss is usually reserved for the arena of commerce; however, Paul comments on the “balance sheet” of his life. Paul exchanged a very religious Jewish past (vs 5-6) for a new life in Christ. As a Christian convert, Paul lost his Jewish past in order to gain Christian belief.
Why does Paul feel the need to renounce aspects of his life such as circumcision, upbringing, and heritage, areas from which he has theologically distanced, and areas over which he had had little control to begin with? Could there be more for us to think about in regard to Paul’s calculations, beyond the obvious importance for first-century Jewish converts to the faith? Is it possible that we today can be “rich” in Christ, but tempted from time to time to assign value to other sources of righteousness?
- Dr. Linda Stratford, Associate Professor of Art