September 9, 2016
Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the Gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it! (1 Corinthians 9:16)
Today’s reading from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians offers a reminder of our role as Christians. We are to do as we’ve been commanded. It is our job to preach the gospel; it’s what we’re supposed to do.
However, we want to get something out of it, don’t we? We want some profit – a kind word, a quick thank you, a little affirmation. Or just the opportunity to boast a bit. Everyone deserves that, right? Is wanting that wrong?
No, wanting a little affirmation or recognition occasionally is not wrong. However, depending on it or needing it is wrong. Allowing it to drive our behavior is wrong.
It’s about humility. We do what God calls us to do because it is the right thing to do. As Christians, that’s what we signed up for. Our motivation is pleasing God and gaining eternal life. When we need affirmation or recognition to motivate us, our focus turns in on us and away from God.