Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. (ESV)
I admire Paul. I have said many times that when I get to heaven, immediately after falling at the feet of my wonderful Savior, I want to find the Apostle Paul and Charles Spurgeon. These are men that have inspired me greatly in my faith. Paul demonstrated an attitude that I wish that I could emulate. So far, I am not sure how well I am doing.
Paul has been boldly preaching the Gospel now for several years. The result? People all over the world have come to know Jesus Christ. There are churches planted in regions all over the Roman Empire. Paul has been transformed from a persecutor of the Church to it's greatest leader. He goes from an antagonist to an Apostle.
You would think that all of the other preachers at that time would look at the Apostle Paul with admiration, gratitude, and encouragement. But you would sadly be incorrect. Paul describes certain preachers who were envious of what the Lord had done through Paul, while others were preaching with an attitude of good will toward Paul.
As we will soon see, Paul does not waste his time condemning his opponents. This is where I have a harder time. It is difficult to deal with people who cannot stand with you, but rather, choose to attack you no matter what you do. The reality is, when Satan attacks us, he often uses the body and voice of a "friend" or "colleague."
We must stay focused on the work at hand. God has called us to preach the Gospel. Not everyone will support us. Their criticism and envy must be ignored. Ask the Lord to help you stay focused on the work at hand.