Alexander the Great declared to his men at Opis, "I have been wounded by the sword, shot with arrows, struck from a catapult, smitten many times with stones and clubs - for YOU, for your glory, for your wealth."
True leadership is never self-serving. Think of the apostle Paul; his top priority was the serving of others with the good news of Jesus Christ!
1. This affects the way we see our rights. The word 'rights' occurs in this chapter in verses 4, 5, 6, 12 (twice) and 15. Paul, like the soldier, the labourer and the shepherd (v.7-12)), had every claim to certain 'rights' -living expenses, food and drink! But, he declares, I never used them.
2. This affects the way we see our rewards. Naturally, leaders who are only in the work for themselves are little more than peddlers; they are on the make, they are careerists - with all the arrows pointing inwards to themselves, to their own promotion. They have their reward (v. 17)! Paul was different. As FF Bruce has written, 'Paul's highest pay is to serve without pay.' His call from God was what basically drove him (v.16-18).
3. This affects the way we see our responsibilities. Look out for that word 'win' (v. 19, 20, 21, 22). Paul could think his way into the mindset of Jew and Gentile alike, to 'win' them - not to himself, but to Christ.
As the preacher, CH Spurgeon once challenged, "If we will not take pains for the kingdom of heaven, what kingdom WILL we take pains for?"