Paul's Impressive Credentials

Helen Brownson

READ : Philippians 3:4-6

When I submitted these devotionals for Words of Hope, I was asked to write a brief autobiography which would include “career distinctions.” We ask for summaries of persons’ lives when they run for office or are introduced at conferences. We applaud their accomplishments.

Before his conversion, Paul was confident in his impressive r?sum?. He found significant fulfillment as a very religious, righteous Jew. He followed the traditions of his people rigorously and submitted himself in strict obedience to the Law. Now Paul states that this confidence in anything outside of Christ is contrary to the gospel and is to be rejected. When Jesus called him, Paul promptly abandoned all trust in his credentials. His remarkable personal testimony recounts his assessment of what he lost and what he gained. No one was as qualified and as competent to judge such issues as he. For every claim to religious distinction, he could say, “I more.” He had demonstrated his qualifications as an authentic, devout Jew, but counted everything worthless when compared with the gain of knowing Christ.

Paul’s autobiography seems to contrast greatly with what we write about ourselves! To lean totally on Christ is to stop seeking to impress others.


Forgive us, Lord, for vainly padding our credentials.