Love Is Not Self-Seeking (2)
Scripture Reading — 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; 13:5b
“We put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 9:12
As persons created in God’s image we have certain God-given rights, which ought to be protected by civil law and respected by others. We have a right to our life. We have a right to expect the government to protect our life, and to punish those who would threaten or harm us. We have a right to pursue our God-giving calling to use our time, talent, and resources for the advancement of God’s kingdom. We have a right to worship and serve our God in spirit and in truth.
But sometimes God’s love moves us not to seek a certain right in order to achieve some greater good. The apostle Paul practiced this self-denial as he preached the gospel among the Corinthians. The preacher, like any other servant, has a right to expect fair compensation for services provided. After all, “the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” But Paul set aside his right to making a living from preaching, while supporting himself as a tentmaker, because he did not want to “hinder the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Paul did not want people to reject the life saving gospel because they suspected the preacher of being a lover of money who peddled the gospel for personal gain.
Sometimes God’s love moves us to set aside our rights, so that others might see Jesus, and find salvation for their souls. PRAYER: O God, help me to recognize when it is necessary for me to set aside my rights in love for the well-being of others. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
O God, help me to recognize when it is necessary for me to set aside my rights in love for the well-being of others. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.