But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear to myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry…
Live for some purpose in the world. Act your part well. Fill up the measure of your duty to others. Conduct yourself so that you shall be missed with sorrow when you are gone. Multitudes of our species are living in such a selfish manner that they are not likely to be remembered after their disappearance. They leave behind them scarcely any trace of their existence, but are forgotten almost as though they had never been. They are, while they live, like one pebble lying unobserved amongst a million on the shore; and when they die, they are like that same pebble thrown into the sea, which just ruffles the surface, sinks, and is forgotten, without being missed from the beach. They are neither regretted by the rich, wanted by the poor, nor celebrated by the learned. Who has been the better for their life? Who has been the worse for their death? Whose tears have they dried up? Whose wants supplied? Whose miseries have they healed? Who would unbar the gates of life, to re-admit them to existence? or what face would greet them back again to our world with a smile? Wretched, unproductive mode of existence! Selfishness is its own curse; it is a starving vice. The man who does no good, gets none. He is like the heath in the desert, neither yielding fruit, nor seeing when good cometh; a stunted, dwarfish, miserable shrub.
(J. A. James.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
WEB: But these things don't count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.