But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, 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 is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. - Philippians 3: 7-11 (NIV)
I am fascinated by the word “rubbish” from this chunk of Scripture. Unless, you are British, you probably do not use that word in your day-to-day vocabulary. It is the Greek word “skubalon”. This is the only time in Scripture where that word is used. “Skubalon” literally translated means “$***” – a curse word that I probably should not use on my blog or in my regular vocabulary.
That’s a strong word used by one of the church’s greatest leaders in history. “Skubalon” is a word that would either perk you up and listen if you were zoning out the weekly sermon; it is a word that might cause you to blush if you heard it from your favorite preacher; and it is a word that could possibly offend you if your preacher used it from the pulpit.
I believe Paul is trying to prove a point by using such a strong word. I think he is yelling at the top of his lungs, “WAKE UP PEOPLE! GET SERIOUS! QUIT PLAYING AROUND! QUIT PLAYING CHURCH! AND UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT AND PRECIOUS THAN KNOWING JESUS. EVERYTHING ELSE IS (BEEP)!”
Let me encourage you today…
Wake up! Get serious! Quit playing around! Quit playing church! And understand that there is nothing more important and precious than knowing Jesus. Everything else is…well…skubalon.