“For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
Wouldn’t you like to echo these words? How encouraging must it be to have this mindset. To fully understand our responsibility as a follower of Christ. When I look back upon my week, I see countless interactions with people I should have proclaimed the Gospel to, yet I fail so often. Why? Is it because I am afraid of the response by that person? Most likely. Is it due to lack of confidence in my ability? Perhaps. Is it because I don’t fully understand the “necessity” that is laid upon me? Bingo.
Paul’s assignment to preach the Gospel is not something he has volunteered for. In fact, he volunteered for an opposite role, the removal of those that proclaimed the Gospel. But we see the new nature of Paul here. We understand the God given task. His mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Since Paul recognizes that this task is given to him by God and he has no choice in the matter, he understands he has no room for boasting. He can’t elevate his pride because he obeys the call to preach.
Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel. Woe to us if we don’t proclaim the good news of Christ. May we remember these words from Paul, especially during those moments when we try to boast in our efforts and obedience.