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Paul reveals that, like us, he was a collector of personal trophies.  Things that proved how important, successful and valuable and knowledgeable he was. One day, he had to follow the example of Jesus Christ and set all of his perceived advantages aside. He realized that trying to impress and coerce people was a dead-end street. He also realized that trying to impress God was a dead-end street. In fact, he had to leave all his self-righteousness behind – get off the self-improvement plan, the performance plan – and write it off.  Give it up, trade it in, write it off as skubala. In the process, he realized how truly pathetic it was in comparison to really knowing Jesus Christ. And we have to do that too. Trade in our pedigree, our performance record, our dazzling image-enhancement, our knowledge quotient – for intimacy with the One who gave up all His advantages for us.

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