7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ … (Philippians 3).
The word “rubbish” literally means “that which is thrown to the dogs,” which ties in with his warning in verse 2: “beware of the dogs,” alluding to the Judaizers. That which was thrown to dogs was refuse, waste, even dung — worthless things. In other words, Paul considered his “list” to be of no more value than that which was cast to mongrels. His pedigree, education, and religious zeal meant nothing compared to gaining Christ. Indeed, compared to Him they were but dung.
One simply cannot “gain Christ” without letting go of everything else we think is precious; i.e. our “lists.” And the only reason we let go of them is because our eyes are opened by the grace of God to see how filthy they are in comparison to Christ. There is simply no contest. We shutter at the foulness of them, even as we delight in the beauty and fragrance of Him. We cast them down, glad to be rid of them.
Lord, help us This Day to cast down any filth trying to steal our devotion to You. Amen.