But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:7
Christians must be all and only about Jesus. He must be first. He must be our focus. He must be the centre of everything. For the moment our view of Jesus is obstructed our faith is reduced to something less than what it’s meant to be.
Satan is well aware of this. He does everything in his power to get our eyes off Jesus. One of the ways he does this is to get us sweating the small stuff, to get us focused on less important issues, on the details, and on things God’s Word calls “disputable matters” Romans 14:1.
There are countless subtle ways in which Satan crowds Jesus out of the picture. When people start complaining about the style of worship, the pastor’s sermon, or the Sunday School program, then Satan has managed to dupe them into doing his work for him. For the moment we get steamed up about people bringing a cup of coffee into the service, or the way people dress, or whether the sanctuary was too hot or too cold, or any other petty matter, then church quickly becomes all about “me” instead of all about Jesus.
So be on your guard. Get a grip. Train yourself to keep your eyes on Jesus. Refuse to be self-absorbed. Rise above the tyranny of the lesser. Repent of any lesser things that you’ve allowed to become preeminent. Choose to have attitudes that reflect His attitudes, to care about the things He cares about, and to love as He loves. For if you don’t, if Jesus isn’t your be all and end all, you’ll quickly become divided and discouraged.
Reinforcing the point: Whatever was to your profit you must now consider a loss for the sake of Christ (cf. Philippians 3:7). He must be more important than your denomination, your theological persuasion, your Bible College education, your philosophical inclination, your political persuasion, your social interaction, or your family connection. This will only be possible if you come to the end of yourself. You must stop looking in and start looking up. His personality must become your personality, you must obey His Word even if it doesn’t make any sense, and you must want His will and not your own.
That’s a big step. It’s easier to talk about making Christ your focus than putting it into practice. But don’t let that stop you. Seize the day. Acknowledge the emptiness of your vanity. Appeal for forgiveness, especially for any selfishness and pride in your life. And ask the Holy Spirit to give you the inclination and strength to be totally centred on Christ, to seek His face always.