Understand the Stand:
There is great deal of humility on display in a person who will halt his desire for achievement or progress to explain his actions and possibly even his intentions to those who are subordinates or merely spectators. When did success become redefined? How have we convinced ourselves that getting a particular task completed is more important than the people involved in that process? When we take a step back and consider this perspective, we must all admit that human beings are more important than just about any project’s completion. I know I have been guilty of this many times. I will get so focused on a project and go into that “tunnel vision mindset” and allow my ambition and my desire to meet goals to force me to ignore the importance of helping others around me to understand, assist, and develop in the process. In this passage, Paul set aside the idea of making the ministry larger and he focused on rebuilding and expanding his influence with the believers in Corinth. Incidentally, he probably achieved both goals by building up the people first.
Situations like these remind me of the two greatest commandments in the Scriptures, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
I Corinthians 9:13-23:
13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.