I consider them garbage ...
As for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. -Philippians 3:6-9 NLT
Can you feel the remorse in Paul's words as he speaks of considering his Pharisaical leadership as loss? As he looks back he remembers how his zeal for the Mosaic Law caused him to persecute those who believed in Jesus Christ. Perhaps, as he sat in chains, he saw images of those that he put in chains flash before his mind as he looked back? Interesting how the things that we treasure most can become garbage as we compare them with knowing Jesus.
Interesting how he compares two means of righteousness. On one hand he remembers the days when he believed that righteousness was based on obeying the law of Moses. Many today still believe that being right with God is all about following the rules. Paul calls that idea "garbage" as he proceeds to speak of "the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith." This idea makes no sense to our heads. How could it? Righteousness is an issue of the heart.
Transform our thinking Lord. Help us to reject the self-righteousness that comes from following the rules.