March 21, 2022
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Verses 18-23. Calling yourself a Christian does not make you ‘all that and a bag of chips’. But how we are with people, how we interact with them, can make someone’s experience of meeting a Christian a positive and inspiring thing. We are not better than some we meet, and we’re not to be impressed when we people richer, more powerful, famous – whatever – because they are just people, too, like us, who need God in their lives and the Lord Jesus and an understanding of the Holy Spirit. They learn this information when we share the Gospel with them.
Sharing the Gospel … that phrase doesn’t necessarily mean a bull horn and a soap box; mostly it means behaving like a Christian, speaking like a Christian, praising Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a Christian. I used to do debt collection for a national retail chain; as you might imagine, I spoke to many people who did not call me ‘child of God’. One Saturday morning, probably around 8:30 in the morning, I called someone to collect a passed due balance. A collector steels one’s reserves because we never know what we’re going to meet. I introduced myself and advised the reason for the call. The gentleman was chipper, friendly, and discussed the account, certain things he was unsure of. He was so delightful, I couldn’t help but ask him if he was always this happy and kind. He said he was, because he knew to Whom he belonged. Tears welled up my eyes and my throat got thick and I thanked him for his kindness. That man was preaching the Gospel.
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.