But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (ESV)
I hate Accounting. I had two years of Accounting in High School. I had to take it twice in College. All those numbers in all those columns . . . I am thankful that God called me to preach. I now call an accountant when I need help with numbers. The Apostle Paul knew a bit about accounting and uses that kind of terminology when he describes his relationship with God before and after Christ.
For years of Paul's life he was under the impression that he was adding to his profit column in the books of life. His tallies in the books looked something like this:
+ Tribe of Benjamin
+ Outward keeping of the Law
+ Persecuting the Church
Paul confesses in today's verse that his accounting abilities were worse than mine! All of those things that he placed in the gain column. What happened? He met Christ! Jesus came and revealed to Paul that all of the things that can be done from man's perspective will never bring about righteousness. It is essential to look to Christ as the only thing that can provide the profit of righteousness.
How is your accounting? Are you adding up things that you think will be to your profit that you have done? I am afraid that is bad accounting. Count everything loss for the sake of Christ.