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What Do We Fight For?

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul faced a fight with the new members of the early church. People wanted to get ahead by undercutting Paul and pointing out any flaws they could find in him. These people were questioning Paul’s motives, addressing everything from his purpose to his payment for serving.

Paul responds in verse 1 by asking, “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?” He knows he has the right to be free in Christ, the right to expect to be paid for work and the right to turn down that payment. But when Paul is accused of not having the right to do what he was doing, it wasn’t his rights that he fought for.

Paul could’ve put his accusers in their place, but instead Paul chose to fight for something better. Verse 12 says, “But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.” Paul was willing to put up with anything - even accusation - because opposition was not his purpose, the gospel was.

As Christians, we will face opposition. People will talk bad about us and question our motives. But God doesn’t call us to fight for our rights, He calls us to fight for Him. When you face conflict, don’t forget: what you fight for defines you. Are you fighting for your rights or your God?

Reflect:

  • What are you fighting for in your life?
  • Are your actions reflecting your rights or your God?

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