Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 14 May 19:
1 Corinthians 9:12 — “Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.”
Don’t let issues, disagreements and conflicts distract people from hearing the Gospel from you and witnessing the power of the Gospel in your life through your behavior. We are often called to surrender our rights for sake of the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:12)
Paul did not demand his rights before others because he didn’t want anything to detract from his preaching of the Gospel of Christ. He preferred to suffer maltreatment from others rather than risk any offense or conflict standing in the way of his message.
“…but we endure….” Paul points out that self-control in our relationships and encounters with others takes great self-discipline, empowered by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 9:25). Sometimes everything within us wants to “put other people in their place,” or “give them what for,” but if we do, they may not hear another word we say.
Are you willing to quietly and patiently suffer maltreatment from others, responding only with love and the Gospel message that you may glorify God? “Pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 14 May 19: Show shocking love by not defending yourself against maltreatment and by responding to evil with good. Do this as an act of worship and as a testimony to others of the power of the Gospel. Think nothing of yourself, but preach the Gospel. Have the strength, courage, and faith to trust God to restore what is denied you by others. Don’t let an issue of maltreatment stand in the way or be a distraction from the Gospel. Remember, when you defend yourself, you make yourself and the issue the center of attention rather than Jesus. Deny yourself and take up your cross in that situation, and bear the burden of the offense against you as a gift to God and as an act of fellowship with Jesus who suffered and died on the Cross for you. (1 Corinthians 9:15-27)