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Setting Aside the Good for the Best

Philippians 3:1-12 (ESV)

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.  

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 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.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.


Do you remember those multiple-choice tests from high school that said, “Choose the best answer below”? The options were often all “good” options, but only one was “the best.” I think this is how life can feel sometimes. We have lots of “good” things we can pursue, but there is only one “best” answer - a relationship with God. The good things could include success in a career, money, being disciplined, and relationships. And while all these things can be good, they aren’t what distinguishes success in the eyes of God. He desires a life fully submitted to Him and a life that places Him as the priority. This isn’t because He needs us but rather because He knows that following Him is what is best for us. And not only is it best for us, but it’s also what will make us truly satisfied.

As we enter this new year, many of us are focused on making changes to make our lives better. It is likely that many of our goals are “good,” and there is nothing wrong with working to be better people. In fact, I would say that God desires for us to be the healthiest (physically, emotionally, mentally) version of ourselves. But if our focus isn’t first on pursuing God, then the other “good” things don’t have purpose. The good in our lives should be a byproduct of serving a loving God who calls us to live a life that reflects Him.

Let’s be people who recognize the “best” option in life and pursue God. Let’s claim Paul’s stance in verse 12 as our own:

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”

Action Steps

1. What is the most important thing for you this upcoming year?
  • Does it include pursuing God?
  • If not, does the passage of scripture above challenge you?

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to clearly impress on your mind what He desires for you this year.

God, thank You for being a God that speaks to me. Your word is clear direction for my life. Help me not be distracted by the “good” things but instead pursue the best thing in life, which is a relationship with You. I am excited for what You are going to do in my life this year! Amen.

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