Join us as we focus each day for nine weeks on a different part of 1 Corinthians 13.
Tuesday: It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 1 Corinthians 9:12b
Read: 1 Corinthians 9:7-12
Listen: 1 Corinthians 9
The Corinthian believers wanted to know who was right. Paul isn’t focused on that. Instead, he uses four conventional images to talk about rights: soldiers, farmers, shepherds and an Old Testament law. Paul draws from his own time in Corinth. He reminds them that he had every right to be supported by them, but instead, he gave up that right and worked. Paul seems concerned that if he took their money, someone might claim they had sway over his message. He wants the Jesus-message to be the focus—not his finances. He had a right that he didn’t exercise.
We demand our rights in lots of ways today. We want everything done the way we want it. We want the Thanksgiving menu to contain certain things and get upset if someone leaves off our favorite dish. We want to be able to work when we want to work and relax when, where and how we want. We want the right to spend our money when, where and how we want.
But sometimes exercising those rights hurts our ability to show the love of Jesus to others. When we are always demanding that people conform to our way, we send a loud message that it is all about us, regardless of what we say about Jesus. When we treat people graciously, even when they might not deserve it, we give them a picture of Jesus.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Open to page 64 in your Culture of the Cross Journal. Write down three important relationships in your life. Next to each name, write down one right you could give up regularly to help reflect the character of Jesus through that relationship.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.