I want to have beautiful feet. I’d love for my toenails to be painted, to have smooth skin, and for those rough edges on my heels to go away. That would be nice. But that’s not the beauty I ultimately desire. I want to have the feet that bring good news. And as one who speaks to women, I want to have and keep this glorious mission in mind.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns” (Isa. 52:7).
Paul was a man with beautiful feet. He proclaimed Christ to the masses, receiving persecution and beatings along the way but never altering his message. In 2 Corinthians 4, he reminds us that our ministry is to proclaim Christ, too. Under the circumstances that Paul faced, it would have been easy for him to waver. It would have been easier to water down the message of salvation and to skip the hard parts of the Word. But he didn’t. Instead, God’s Word through Paul reminds us not to lose heart (4:1). The good news is that the source of our strength and whom we proclaim is one and the same: Christ.
It’s interesting that in this passage from 1 Corinthians, Paul begins to talk about our conduct before he talks about the proclamation. In many ways, speakers should seek to be above reproach—in word and deed. This is not a pronouncement of works-based righteousness. We are saved by grace and live by grace. What Paul is saying is that when we share about the Word of God, we have “renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or tamper with God’s Word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (v. 2).
When we share in small groups, large groups, or anywhere that we might proclaim Christ, we share the truth. The truth is what sets captives free. And if we don’t share the truth when we know the truth, then we are essentially lying. For many of us today, we face a similar challenge to those in the first century—our biggest hurdle will be fighting the fear of man. We must say with confidence that we are not ashamed of the gospel and then proclaim the truth.
Another comfort Paul gives us is that when we share the Word faithfully, those who do not receive it aren’t against us, per se (vv. 3–4). Our calling is never to change hearts; only God can do that. We are quite simply instructed to share faithfully. And “for what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as [his] servants for Jesus’ sake” (v. 5). When we speak, we proclaim Christ and not ourselves. It is for His sake and His glory! Isn’t that a relief? We don’t have to be something we aren’t; we simply need to share all of what God is. That’s such great news.
Oh that we’d proclaim Christ and not ourselves! That is the aim of every Christian speaker—and if it’s not, we pray to make it our aim. Christ can make you a beacon of light so that the light that has shone in your heart would be poured out onto those who listen in. We want to have beautiful feet, not with painted toenails and smooth skin, but rather feet made beautiful by bringing the Good News.