But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Philippians 3:7–11, ESV
Our faith is from God, as is our righteousness. There is nothing we can do to obtain it because it comes wholly from God. No matter how rightly we do things according to the Law of the Lord, we will fall short. This is the humility with which we walk. This mindset is not to make us feel poorly about ourselves but to help us strive to be more and more like Jesus with the knowledge that we will never fully achieve it. It also acknowledges that the forgiveness and grace of God surpass our ability and our inability to achieve that which He sets out for us. It doesn’t excuse our shortcomings but covers them in grace and forgiveness. It is a striving that our Lord seeks from us always to get better and not turn back. As the people of God, in our knowledge of our own weakness, we are meant to be more gracious to one another and not tear one another down because of our failures but build each other up in Christ. We will never reach perfection, and when we think that we have, it is vital to remember our sin, which most often begins with our pride. The old adage, “Pride precedes the fall,” is one that is meant to be etched in our hearts and minds. Paul, in writing these words, acknowledges his achievements as a well-trained biblical scholar and leader within the Jewish faith, which, had he lived within that and not heeded the call of Christ, would have brought him great respect and prestige. He, however, knew that Christ was greater and was willing to let go of worldly things in order to serve the one true God. This is the calling for each of us, knowing that we will never fully achieve the end of it until we are called home with our Lord, but ever striving to serve Him more fully in our lives.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.