If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labour for me. yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
For Paul, to live is Christ and to die is gain. But that life in Christ is not about his own personal fulfilment, it is about others. The reason given why death is gain is simple - he gets to be with Jesus. But the reasons given for continuing to live are all about others:
- so that he can continue in fruitful labour
- it is more necessary for them
- it will help them progress in the faith
- it will give them joy in the faith
- it will give them more reasons to glory in Jesus
Paul sees his life as a tool in God's hands to bless others. Do I see my life like that?