1.05.M Your goal as a health care student for the year ahead

Thinking about life as a student in healthcare

  • What do you hope to achieve this year as a student in healthcare? Identify a goal you have in each of the following categories:
    • Personally
    • Professionally
    • Relationally
    • Spiritually 

What does God have to say?

Read Philippians 3:1-14 (ESV version):

1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. 2 Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 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 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Within his writings, Paul reserves some of his harshest language for the heresy regarding circumcision he is pointing out here; not because circumcision in and of itself is a bad thing, but because circumcision is being used by these people to suggest that righteousness comes through the law. This negates the gospel and shows contempt for the saving work of Jesus in his death and resurrection. For further reading on this topic, see Galatians 5:1-15.

  • In what sense does Paul count all of his accolades of ‘righteousness’ as ‘loss’ (v7) and ‘rubbish’ (v8)?
  • What does Paul gain in exchange for losing all his accolades? Was it worth it?
  • Paul seems to be quite convinced that attaining the resurrection from the dead (v11) means suffering with Christ and becoming like him ‘in his death’ (v10). How do we as Christians, and 21st Century healthcare students in Australia, become like Christ ‘in his death’?
  • Are we willing to do this to ‘attain the resurrection from the dead’ (v11)?

Putting it into practice

  • Health care professions are generally looked up to by society. Often, people in health care professions were the best and brightest at school. Being bright and respected tends to form our identity. Do you have a list of accolades like Paul does? If so, how willing are you to “count them all as loss” for the sake of Christ?
  • What are your goals for this year? Identify your top 3. Does Paul’s goal to attain ‘the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (v14) resonate with your identified goals?

See 1.05