Our young grandSONS have gravitated toward potty humor at times. Not exactly the most pleasant addition to conversations and often difficult to curtail. But what can I say? This too shall pass, right? Well not yet ...
Our darling grandson Carter has taken it to a whole new level. Last Christmas, at the top of Carter's wish list was a "poop emoji" beanbag chair. I thought, "You gotta be kidding!"
I was thinking that maybe this year he'd be over his fixation with poop, but apparently not. Carter recently "won" a small "rainbow poop," a large "red and green poop," and a "red poop Christmas hat" at Winterfest (Kings' Island), each one his choice. (FYI there had been other options).
But you know what? I got to thinking. The Apostle Paul used some strong language in his writings, dare I even say, a "potty word" or two, not as humor, but as the perfect way to get a very serious point across. In fact, I can't help but think that the words in chapter 3 of his epistle to the Philippians could be laced with "poop emojis" (without the cutesy faces of course). Just look at the following passage.
In speaking of the extent of his credentials as a 'big shot" in Judaism, Paul says,
I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee. In my zeal for God I persecuted the church. According to the righteousness stipulated in the law I was blameless...
I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things—indeed, I regard them as DUNG! [insert "poop emoji"]—that I may gain Christ...*
What did Paul consider dung? Poop?
He considered any confidence that he might have had in himself -- where he had come from (his family lineage), his religion (the "church" he belonged to), his good works and perfect keeping of his religious to-do list.
All of that was less than NOTHING to Paul. NO! It was dung! Poop! compared to knowing CHRIST and being in union with HIM and having HIS credentials!
Earlier he had said,
For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials.*
And that is true for you and me, my friend. But even in our Christian communities we can have our "strutting order" based on Biblical knowledge and training, charisma, giftedness, platform, Christian "to do list"-keeping (whatever that list may be), position in the church, etc, etc. And we can have our confidence misplaced there.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about where I get my confidence. I don't know about you, but I want my confidence to be 100% in knowing, in ever increasing measure, my Lord Christ whose credentials I bear because of my union with Him. I belong to Him and He belongs to me. Glory!
And He came to earth for that very purpose -- to make us one with Him in God's family. This is the time of year when we celebrate His coming to earth on our behalf. So let's take a few moments even now to ask the Lord to renew our confidence in Him Alone.
And maybe ... just maybe ... getting a little "poop emoji" and setting it on a dresser or desk would be a worthy reminder of what all our resources apart from Christ are really worth...Poop! Dung!
It's all poop, isn't it?
all my self-confidence,
all my self-righteousness,
all my self-promotion,
all my self-credentials,
all my self-adulation,
all my self-SELF!
Deliver me ... by YOUR glorious SELF!
*NET Bible, Philippians 3