But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.…
Turning to the mercantile figure we are reminded of the paramount importance of having the record books of our inner life rightly kept. The great German satirist, Heinrich Heine, has scornfully depicted the mere worldling thus: "Business men have the same religion throughout the whole world. They find in their office their church, in their desk their prayer cushion, in their ledger their Bible. The warehouse is their inner sanctuary; the exchange bell is their summons to prayer; their God is their gold; their faith is their credit." The apostle was never so low in the scale as these words represent justly the mere worldling to be. He was, even as Saul the persecutor, of a very different and a far higher type. None the less these scathing words describe too closely the character and conduct of countless thousands, who all the time are not ashamed and not afraid to bear the name of Christian. But in contrast to such a picture we have the new man, renewed in heart and life; he, too, has his all-engrossing concerns. He, too, has his books, recording the transactions which take place in his inmost soul. He keeps them rightly. No false entries are seen there. The things of the world, whatever their value in themselves may be, are, as related to the soul's interests, entered as loss. The things of the kingdom alone appear as gain. True wealth — that which alone can claim the name of sub stance — is summed up in righteousness: life in Christ Jesus — life which in Him is everlasting.
(J. Hutchison, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.