Our Bible verse for today: “But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:7-8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Let go of your attachments”
One of the biggest hindrances most of us have are our attachments to the things of this world. We cling to our possessions, our dreams, our relationships, our money – all the things of the world that are precious to us. We cling to them like Gollum in the Lord of the Rings clung to his ring. “My precious” is what he called it.
But the more we cling to such things – the more “precious” they are to us, the more likely they are to get in the way of our relationship with Jesus. That’s why in Luke 14:26 Jesus taught, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, and even his own life – he cannot be my disciple.” Jesus didn’t mean that we literally have to hate those things or to rid our lives of them – that was hyperbole, he meant that those relationships, along with anything else in this life, cannot be more important to us than our relationship with Him.
The more we learn to let go of our strong attachment to the things of this world the freer we will be to embrace and experience God’s love. That’s what Paul was explaining in Philippians 3:7-8. He considered everything else in life to pale in comparison to knowing Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord. This’s why in the next chapter, in Philippians 4:10-13, Paul writes that he had learned to be content with whatever his physical circumstances were at any given time, because he was entirely fulfilled and satisfied in his relationship with Jesus. It’s also the point Paul was making in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 where he described the value of living a simple and quiet life.
The other day I read a description of a painting that depicts a woman standing at the foot of a lush green hill. She has her arms extended into the air with her hands spread wide, her head is tilted back, she has a look of joy on her face, and there’s a yellow balloon she has just released that’s floating away into a bright blue sky. It’s a picture of the relief and freedom we can experience from letting go of things.
One of the most important lessons we can learn in life is to stop clinging so tightly to our attachments. Be willing to let some of them go and to at least loosen your grip on others, so that they don’t get in the way of you embracing and fully experiencing God’s love for you.