Unexpected Tears


When we seek to know Jesus, we not only find Him, we find ourselves. Dot Bowen shares the reasons why this revelation brought her to tears.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus… Philippians 3:7-8 (NIV)

I immediately burst into tears! I tried to stop the tears from smudging the pages of my Bible, but I was too late. I couldn’t stop crying or find a Kleenex. I’m not easily brought to tears, but this morning I was nothing but tears. I went to bed last night feeling overwhelmed. Right before I fell asleep I prayed, God, if You are trying to tell me something, You need to shout it at me because my mind is cluttered with the noise from so many opinions. God didn’t have to shout. Within hours, He got my attention the minute I read Philippians 3:8: “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.” It hit me! Paul wanted to know Christ, and I had been spending hours upon hours trying to get to know me!

I had attended every conference I could to discover who I was as a writer, teacher, founder of Cup of Joy, wife, mom, Mimi, sister, friend, and on and on. I was spending hours in training to know how to become a writer and communicator. I spent so much time asking God for His will for my immediate and extended family. I helped others ignite God’s dream and purpose for their lives as well as my own. Surely, these were good things?! Absolutely! But did they satisfy the longing of my heart? Trust me when I say NO!!!

Each time I focused time and energy on knowing me better, I became more aware of how much I needed help. It was exhausting! Even when told I was a good writer, I wanted to be better. If told I was a good mom, Mimi, wife, family member, friend, I wanted to be better. I wanted to be a better version of me, but I was tired of trying!

I realized when my life’s goal is to know me better, I don’t have time to know Jesus better.

Paul was right! Knowing me doesn’t compare to knowing Jesus. My unexpected tears sprang forth from a heart desiring to know Jesus.

After I got over myself, I began to read Philippians 3 and realized Paul was very acquainted with himself. In my words, Paul was saying, Let me tell you about me. I was circumcised on the eighth day, I am from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, I know the law, I have studied under Gamaliel—the best of the best, I know how to make tents, I’ve traveled the world over, and I was in charge of persecuting the Christians. Paul was quick to say I know who I am! I realized my tears were not from wanting to know myself better. My tears were from wanting to know myself more than I wanted to know Jesus.

I’m sharing this personal moment I had alone and on my knees to spare you wasted hours that will not satisfy. Paul said—and I agree—nothing compares to knowing Jesus.

When we seek to know Jesus, we grow in our knowledge of Him, we grow in our love for Him and we discover ourselves in Him.

When we seek to know Jesus, we not only find Him, we find ourselves.

Paul also said, “I’m hidden in Him” (Colossians 3:3). Christ is in me, and I am in Christ. Nothing compares to knowing Jesus, who is our hiding place. God created us for a purpose, and He desires to use us. We are most useable when He is seen in and through us. This week I challenge you to get to know Jesus better. In doing so, you will learn to enjoy who He is and you will find the real you. The truths below will help you grow deeper in your knowledge of Him and who you are as His child.


  1. Jesus is the beloved Son of God. (Matthew 3:17)
  2. I am His accepted and beloved child. (Ephesians 1:6)


  1. Jesus is the Lamb who cleanses us from sin. (1 John 1:7)
  2. I am clean. (John 15:3)


  1. Jesus is the Bread of Life. (John 6:35)
  2. I am filled with good things. (Luke 1:53)


  • Read the above biblical truths over and over again.
  • What are these truths telling you about Jesus and yourself?


  • What is your response to these truths?
  • How can you make these truths a reality in your daily life?
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