The Difference Between S–t and Shinola

“He doesn’t know s–t from Shinola.”

It’s an old saying that was used to illustrate someone’s lack of understanding.

Shinola was a brand of shoe polish used in the 1950’s, and s–t…well it had a similar color and consistency.

The Apostle Paul was, by all indications, born into a wealthy family. He was well educated and became a respected Pharisee. He had everything going for him.

Paul gave up all those things and decided to follow Jesus. Following Jesus cost Paul his status in the Jewish community, his career, probably his wealth, and it subjected him to repeated physical torture and persecution.

Yet when Paul compared all he gave up to the value of knowing Jesus, he said those things were like “shit.” (Philippians 3:8-10). Perhaps your Bible says “rubbish” or “refuse” or “dung,” but the Greek word used by Paul is “skubalon,” which is the equivalent of the word, shit.

Paul was obviously trying to draw a stark contrast, a contrast that is diminished when less offensive words like “rubbish” and “refuse” are used. Imagine all the things people spend their lives chasing, a career, wealth, status, and yet as good as they all can be, compared to knowing Jesus they are like s–t. They stink. They are disgusting.

It’s not that they are bad; quite the opposite, but knowing Jesus is so much better in comparison they are like the stuff you flush down your toilet the minute it comes out of you because it’s so disgusting you can’t stand to keep it in the same house with you. Got it?

So, the question: Is your relationship with Jesus such that every other good thing pales in comparison? Do you know the difference between s–t and Shinola? GS

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