“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 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.” – Philippians 3:7-8
I met Flake (pronounced Flah-kay) when I served as a missionary in Mali, West Africa. Flake was a local businessman who was taking English classes at our mission center. He had become interested in Christianity through the witness of some of the African and American Christians who worked in the mission. Flake was also a regular attender of the Tuesday afternoon “tea talks” where Christian men would meet with non-Christians to drink hot tea, eat snacks and discuss the Bible. As time passed, Flake’s eyes were opened and he believed the Gospel. A short time later his wife believed as well. Almost immediately, the persecution began. Some of those with whom he had done repeat business all of a sudden shunned him. Old friends avoided him or made fun of him. His own father even disowned him and told Flake he was no longer his son and would not allow Flake to visit his family. Many would have turned back at this point, not willing to suffer for their faith as Flake was. But Flake’s life had been changed by Jesus, his sin was forgiven, he had seen the light and he knew that what he had been given was far more valuable than any business deal he could ever make. Flake’s new spiritual family loved him and supported him more than his biological family ever had and he had been adopted by a new Father who loved him unconditionally, would supply all his needs and would never leave him nor forsake him. Flake had indeed lost much, but in Christ he had gained so much more.