But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
Thoughts for Today:Previously, in 1 Corinthians 4:11-12, Paul explained some of the discomfort he and his companions had endured: "To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it." In other words, not only had he suffered many hardships in the past, but he was currently suffering -- some of which was the result of his decision to not take personal financial support from the Corinthians.
Today, Paul gives us the reason for his decision: He didn't want the taking of personal remuneration from preaching to be a hindrance to anyone receiving the Gospel Message. Why? Because no doubt there were some people back then (like today), who thought all preachers were in it for the money. Paul's financial sacrifice took this argument away.
Questions to Ponder:Certainly there are several highly published displays of some individuals in ministry who have abused the finances of those they supposedly serve. However, the pastors whose hearts are honestly committed to serving our Lord, far outweigh the few who have become lost in greed. Have you allowed your heart to be hardened to the work of your pastor? Do you question the motivation of those in ministry? Through this teaching, how has God changed your thoughts regarding the responsibility to provide support for the pastor and staff of your church?