I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Phil. 3:8)

A FEW Years ago, a news story emerged about a man named Kyle MacDonald, who had a red paper clip and a plan. He decided to see if he could trade the paper clip for something just a little better. And he did—a pen. He traded up again and then again. Each time he traded, the value of what he traded for increased. According to news reports, he eventually traded that paper clip until it became a house.

In Philippians Paul saw the things he gained in life as mere junk in light of what Christ offered. He realized that he could trade the worthless things of the world for something far more valuable: to know Christ, to have His righteousness, to become like Him, and to gain eternal life. The key is, though, that we must realize that what we have, which may seem so valuable, isn’t nearly as valuable as what we will gain.

That’s not always easy because we place too much weight on the things of the world. In the eternal picture, those accolades, achievements, possessions, and even our own self-worth really are meaningless. But we aren’t basing our future on chance or a scheme we’ve developed, as MacDonald had. We’re trusting God’s promise that this little paper clip of a life we offer will be traded in for something far greater: a heavenly home.

Try a mini version of the paper clip game among some friends and share this lesson.

Diane Gardner lives in northern California. She enjoys oil painting, theater, community festivals, and quiet evenings at home.