But we did not use these rights. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the Gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel.
But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you would do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. Yet when I preach the Gospel I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the Gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it (1 Corinthians 9:12-18).
Paul is a man under orders.
He is, in his own words, compelled to preach the Gospel. Whether he is paid or persecuted, the labor is his. So he takes joy in giving freely, rather than grudgingly.
You, too, are called to serve, Beloved. You may never get the recognition or the reward that should be yours for the work you do. That leaves you with two options: you can demand what is yours by right, or you can give of yourself joyfully, knowing that you follow not only in Paul’s footsteps, but Christ’s.
Happy Wednesday, Beloved.