I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:23
Paul's life was so defined and controlled by gospel proclamation that there was little else left in him for concentration. He focused exclusively on proclaiming the gospel in every category of his life. And it defined even his choice for exactly how he would live his life. Paul's was a gospel life. And just as the gospel is gracious news offered freely to anybody who would hear it, so Paul gave the gospel away with his choice of lifestyle.
Paul made a conscious decision to be both vocational as a tent maker for personal income and also a gospel preacher. He supported himself in Corinth so that no one could say they supported or enabled his preaching of the gospel. Simultaneously, Paul insists that those who proclaim the gospel exercise a legitimate claim to financial support from the church (1 Corinthians 9:14). But the relative immaturity of the church at Corinth made such a normal matter not expedient. Paul did not demand this right because he wanted the Corinthians to see him as gospel driven as they possibly could, so that in his preaching they would concentrate most on the message. In bypassing normal support, Paul made his lifestyle clearly all about the gospel.