Aug 14 2010 - Not hindering the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:12)
Many at Corinth were jealous of their rights. Paul seeks to show that such a preoccupation is incompatible with the gospel.
He reminds the Christians at Corinth that it is both a principle of natural justice and of Scripture that the labourer is worthy of his hire. He and Barnabas would have been well within their rights to have sought financial and practical aid from the Corinthians while they laboured among them. But they did not do so; nor is Paul now seeking some compensation from them. Paul was pleased to preach the gospel to the Corinthians free of charge. His conduct reflected the free nature of the gospel itself. Paul was concerned to do nothing that would hinder the effectiveness of his preaching or lead to misunderstandings; he reminds the Corinthians, “We put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.”
Paul clearly expects his readers to show the same spirit. It’s a tough call, and not one that we can simply exact against others; it’s one we each have first to hear and respond to ourselves. How much am I prepared to put up with in order that the gospel might not be hindered?
Lord, let this be my determined aim, “I will put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.”