Philippians 3:10–14

COULD WE REVISIT those words Paul wrote?

“I have not achieved it . . . forgetting the past . . . looking forward to what lies ahead.”

Paul’s openness is best described with one word: vulnerability.

“I have not achieved/reached it” is a concept Paul mentions no less than three times in Philippians 3:10–14. Read these words again; see if you can find each of the three:

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.


How refreshing to hear! Paul, the brilliant, competent, gifted, strong leader honestly admits, “I don’t have everything wired.” Vulnerability includes more than this, however. Vulnerability means being willing to express personal needs, admitting one’s limitations or failures, having a teachable spirit, and especially being reluctant to appear the expert, the one with all the answers, the final voice of authority.

Not only are these traits refreshing—they’re rare!

If you’re the type of individual who needs to be right or always have the last word . . . if you must receive constant words of appreciation to bolster your self-perception, then you need to learn a lesson from Paul. Rest in the fact that you’ll never be perfect. The One who made you and calls you, forms His “perfection” in you. How? When you daily surrender to His will.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.