Today, our verse speaks about being a hindrance to the spread of the Gospel. In 1 Corinthians 9:12, we read: “And if you have supported others, don’t we rightfully deserve this privilege even more? But as you know, we haven’t used that right. Instead, we have continued to support ourselves so that we would never be a hindrance to the spread of the gospel of Christ” (TPT). Paul is saying here that he didn’t want to put up an obstacle in the way of the Gospel. As the Message notes: “Our decision all along has been to put up with anything rather than to get in the way or detract from the Message of Christ.”
The damage here can be great. Imagine getting in the way of someone even being able to hear of Christ — to hear the Good News! Imagine blocking someone from hope, from life, from knowing the Messiah. God wants for all people to repent and be reconciled. He is patiently waiting (2 Peter 3:9). Are we a hindrance?
How could we be a hindrance? We could prevent the Good News from being spread by not following the Great Commission and keeping our own mouths closed. We could get in the way of others who are aiming to share the Gospel. We also could be a hindrance by our actions, by doing something that could draw away from the Good News. This is what Paul is referencing here. Paul did not want to be a hindrance and so they supported themselves. They didn’t ask for support. They didn’t want to appear self-serving, as if they were in it for the money, and cause people to miss out on the Good News.
When I read this, I cannot help but consider how far removed we are from this passage today. How many times do you hear people who do not know Jesus boldly proclaiming how they do not have an interest in entering a church because it is all about the pastors racking up money? As I chew upon this verse, I cannot help but think of the social media account devoted entirely to calling out pastors for their extravagant footwear. Over 200k people follow PreachersNSneakers on Instagram. The popularity has resulted in a book, “Authenticity in an Age of For-Profit Faith and (Wannabe) Celebrities.”
Let us consider today if we are hindering anyone from hearing the Gospel. May we pray for open eyes to see if we are a hindrance. May we pray for an open mouth to share the Good News. May we be more focused on sharing Jesus before we no longer have the opportunity. May we never be a hindrance.
Heavenly Father, help me to see You more clearly today. Lord, give me a heart for people. Help me to share Your Good News with others. May the Spirit speak through me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!