What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
Philippians 1:18 ESV
To be totally honest, if I think people are preaching Christ out of selfishness, envy or vain ambition, it really annoys me. If people see the proclamation of Christ as simply a means to earn money, they don’t earn my respect. But Paul was more magnanimous than me.
Perhaps imprisonment gave Paul some perspective. He wasn’t so concerned about people’s motivations, as long as they preached Christ. Sadly, a lot of what many preach nowadays is indistinguishable from secular motivational speakers, or even fortune cookies!
Paul didn’t preach Christ to build his own kingdom but the kingdom of God. He knew that if people declared that Jesus is Lord, they did so as inspired by the Holy Spirit. So he resolved to rejoice.
I think Paul’s double emphasis in rejoicing in this verse suggests that rejoicing didn’t come naturally to him. He was imprisoned after all! So he had to resolve to rejoice, and so do we oftentimes.
“Father God, please help us to rejoice in You, whatever our circumstances. And help us to rejoice in the preaching of Christ, whatever the motivations of those who do so! In His name, amen”