“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
Most of us like to be recognized and lauded for our works and accomplishments. We think we deserve praise and awards from others for our efforts. Not so the apostle Paul. He was a preacher who did not boast in his works or accomplishments. He boasted only in preaching the gospel of faith in Jesus which he did only by the power of God. The Lord enabled him to preach to many different kinds of people, to enter into their world, to become in some ways like them so he could better understand their spiritual situation and reach out. He put himself in the shoes of other people in imitation of Jesus who became one of us in order to save us and enable us to live in love and righteousness.
No doubt this method of spreading the good news required great patience and perseverance. It was hard work. Yet, unlike many modern preachers, celebrities and politicians, in fact unlike most people, Paul did not seek remuneration, rewards, awards, fame or kudos for this work because he was a steward of God’s Kingdom, a servant who was commissioned by God to this ministry. Though he did receive support from believers he also worked to earn a living. Yet all that he did was for the sake of the gospel. And Paul readily acknowledged that all the glory for the work of spreading the Gospel belonged to the Lord. The Lord would give him ample reward with the gift of eternal life.