Recently, in a class, the teacher was teaching through Philippians chapter 3; he mentioned counted in verse 7 and count in verse 8:
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:…
This set off a chain of thoughts that I wanted to pass along.
Many Christians have had a “counted loss” experience: they have given up something because they believed (at the time) that it was not honoring to God, or that it was hindering their growth in the new life in Jesus Christ. I know that there have been such times in my life. The decisions that will last are a past-tense decision; we decided completely to put something out of our lives; it is over and done with: it is “counted loss” (past tense)… and this is a good thing.
However, as we go along, we sometimes fail in the second part — the present tense of counting things for lost; in fact, sometimes, those things that we “counted” loss, we now want and regret that we put them out of our lives.
An excellent example of this is the Hebrews leaving Egypt: when they initially left, it was over and done with – they were done with Egypt. However, as the reality of living in the wilderness sank it, some no longer continued to “count” that life as lost; in fact, many times we ready of them hankering back after the things they left in Egypt.
We think they are foolish, but how often have we determined to do something: we counted something as loss, but subsequently, we fail to still “count” it as loss and begin to desire what we once counted as loss. A few examples: some determine to not take jobs that would routinely keep them out of church services; they “counted” worldly gain as loss… but, after a while, they regret the decision that they think has kept them from “a really good job” – they no longer “count” it loss. Others may give up a bad habit or music that does not honor God; it is “counted loss”, but they later hanker after it – it is no longer something they “count” but loss. Another person will determine to give regularly and faithfully to support God’s work; what they could have had was “counted” loss… later, they begin to dwell on what they could have had if they had not given, and begin to resent the decision – they are no longer counting their advantages as lost.
Let us not be led astray – those things that we “counted” loss — let us still continue to “count” them as loss: this is one way to have a successful Christian life.