“The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains”
“supposing to add affliction to my chains”
The reason they were preaching Christ from “selfish ambition” and impure motives was they wanted to add to Paul’s affliction in jail! They tried to rub salt into his wounds.
Possibly, they would come to Paul in jail and brag about the numbers of people who were coming to Christ in their ministry. Maybe they would even leave the impression that he was in prison because something was wrong with his life. They were spiritual; he was carnal.
They would watch to see if he turned green with envy. But they did not know the caliber of his soul. Paul was not jealous; in fact, he thanked God that the gospel was preached (v.18).
The caliber of the soul transcends malice.
Some people do not preach the gospel with pure motives; they are malicious with their message. Recipients of this malice need to be people with a caliber of soul. Do you put yourself at the mercy of malice? Are you independent of people who try to hurt you?