Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What's your poop?

If you were to tell me what it is that you gave up so that you could have Christ, what would you say? Seriously... what would you say is the "dung" in your life that you had to do away with so you could lay hold of Christ? What have you considered "loss" so that you could have Christ?

I know how I used to answer that question. I suppose I know how many other people would answer the question as well, but for now I won't assume that I know what you'd say. You can answer the question for yourself, if you'd like.

In the meantime, I'd like to offer up what the Apostle Paul said on this issue. What did Paul say was the dung, the rubbish, the garbage, the poop in his life that he necessarily had to give up in order that he may be found in Christ? What did Paul count as loss, that he might gain Christ?

I'll list part of the following passage of scripture (quoting Paul's very own words from Phil 3:4-11) in numbered form as a way to highlight Paul's list of things he counted as dung.
"If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:

1) circumcised the eighth day
2) of the stock of Israel
3) of the tribe of Benjamin
4) a Hebrew of the Hebrews
5) concerning the law, a Pharisee
6) concerning zeal, persecuting the church
7) concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish ('dung' - KJV), that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead."
Does your list of things you count as dung resemble Paul's list? :)


  1. Control and the manipulation used to attempt to control my circumstances and the people around me and most of that had been strengthened and proped up by the beliefs I had learned through religious training.

  2. I laughed when I saw the title of your post. But you are so right. I was born to traditionally orthodox parents, infant baptized, attended orthodox church for nearly 25 years, left orthodox church, attended pentecostal church, attended baptist church, then came to pentecostal again, Water baptized, spoke in tongues and slained in the spirit, traveled to raise fund for the building program, studied end times, prophecies, apologetics etc and bragged about it, was fascinated by the big Benny hinn crowds, watched miracle healing videos, supported American family association to fight for 'Christian rights', encouraged people to boycott Ford because they supported gay rights, boycotted the stores which did not sell 'Christmas' trees, took charge of church bulletin, did evangelism, tithed, submitted to the 'authority', helped to transport people to church and at the end of the day cried out to God to 'fill me up' with Spirit again (because I lost the morning fill) thinking Spirit is like a drakula who goes in and out of us frequently. Whew...

    Today, finally I am glad that the true Jesus found me and took me out of that pit and gave me a new song in my heart. The rest of the life I want to live as a mere branch who consciously abide in its vine...

  3. I remember when I had first been drawn to God, I gave up smoking, pornography, cussing, taking God's name in vain (I wouldn't even say God when they said it in worship songs) and whatever else. But then I would read the sermon on the mount and realize that my pride, my anger, my lust went a lot deeper than I thought. And I was constantly plagued by condemnation and accusation.

    Before I had lots of assurance of my salvation (false assurance) because I had quit doing a lot of things I had done before. I was now reading my Bible and praying everyday like chores from a checklist. But when Jesus raised the Law higher in the sermon on the mount, it got more and more hopeless for me. I would try desperately not to be irritable or angry because everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment!

    Then this past summer after racking my brain in trying to understand how this "balance" theory worked, I gave up and basically said in my heart, "Screw this balancing Law and Grace crap. I can't stand the condemnation any longer. I don't understand every scripture, but I KNOW this isn't right."

    I would grind my teeth and wake up quoting scriptures in my head to try and assure myself of my salvation. It got too much for me. I give up. And I have to give up daily..which can be difficult sometimes.

  4. Wow... so many things came to mind while reading these responses! First and foremost, just the fact that, like me, you have all been set free from these things that used to hold you, and are continuing to be set free! It's such a huge blessing to hear your stories.

    Reading your comments I was reminded of Jesus as he faced the Pharisees and pronounced "woes" upon them for their religious, domineering control, manipulation and hypocrisy. I was reminded of those who had tried and tried and tried to get it right, and even thought they had it right (such as the rich young ruler), only to find that what they had was not nearly enough. I was reminded of Mary and Martha. One of them busy about her service for Jesus and one of them sitting at His feet listening to Him.

    And I was reminded of my own life. I dealt with so much of what you are all saying. I "quit" so many things when I first came into the pentecostal, evangelical church, and I was riding so high on all the things I was now doing (and prideful for all the things I was not doing), and then it's like the legs were kicked out from underneath and I realized that I didn't have what it took after all. I kept hearing all the things that good Christians do and don't do, and I tried hard to keep up with it all but most of the time I just felt so very low about my 'spiritual life.'

    I had to give up, and count as dung, all those things I was doing and not doing, so that I could truly lay a hold of Christ, and be found in Him and Him alone. I had to not worry about what others thought of me and I had to let Christ the Vine send His life into me and bear His fruit in me in His way, not according to religion but according to Life, and I know it hasn't always been pleasing to others! I've been freed, and I continue to be freed. I've grown, and I continue to grow. Not that I've arrived. :) But my, what a great adventure!