15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
15 And I will very gladly spend [spend freely] and be spent for your souls;
The word “spend” means to spend freely. No one put pressure on Paul to serve the Corinthians; it came from his free will.
The next word, “be spent,” adds a preposition intensifying meaning to the same Greek word, connoting expend. Paul was willing to be consumed in his service for the church.
Thus, Paul used a financial metaphor to explain how he cared for the souls of the Corinthian church. He would spend his energies in caring for them. Further, the apostle was willing to be “spent” for them, implying that he would exhaust himself in serving the church. He would give all that he had. He was very glad to do so.
though the more abundantly I love you,
The apostle’s service to the church was motivated by abundant love.
the less I am loved.
The idea here is paradoxical irony. Although Paul proved his love by sacrificially serving the Corinthian church, the church did not love him in return. There was no reciprocal or responsive love toward him. How is it consistent that someone who loves another more would be loved less?
The litmus test for a Christian leader is his willingness to give himself to those he serves.
True Christian leaders serve at a high cost to themselves. They sacrifice themselves for their people. They aim to strengthen, encourage, and edify those they serve. This is the model that Jesus set (Mr 10:45). However, quite often, congregations do not appreciate their sacrifice.