I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.
Many of us view contrary circumstances in our lives as inconveniences and roadblocks to an imagined future that we ourselves have planned and hoped for. Here is Paul chained in prison with guards on either side, cheerfully telling the Christians in Philippi that this has, in fact, resulted in advancement for the Gospel. How does he come to this realisation and perspective? Paul’s perspective is based on the kingdom, he views everything from the viewpoint of how it affects the advancement of the good news of Christ to the world. But he also is concerned for the lives of those around him and the brothers who are encouraged as they see the grace of God working in and through Paul.
Paul acknowledges that people have different motives when it comes to the proclamation of the Kingdom. We should remember this when are confronted with persecution and opposition, even from within the church. Our over-arching concern and focus should be, like Paul, that in every way Christ – the KING -is proclaimed, and in that rejoice.