I can’t imagine all that Paul went through in order to fulfill God’s purpose through him. Not only did he face persecution from his enemies, but he also experienced rejection and conflict from those who claimed to share his faith.
In these verses, it appears that some of the Christians in Corinth were taking Paul for granted. He was working for them, expecting nothing in return. But, perhaps that wasn’t in their best interest. The Message paraphrases:
I wonder, did I make a bad mistake in proclaiming God's Message to you without asking for something in return, serving you free of charge so that you wouldn't be inconvenienced by me? It turns out that the other churches paid my way so that you could have a free ride. Not once during the time I lived among you did anyone have to lift a finger to help me out. My needs were always supplied by the believers from Macedonia province. I was careful never to be a burden to you, and I never will be, you can count on it. With Christ as my witness, it's a point of honor with me, and I'm not going to keep it quiet just to protect you from what the neighbors will think. It's not that I don't love you; God knows I do.Sometimes, it seems those in Christian leadership just can’t win. Some complain when those workers are too self-sufficient. Others complain when ministers or missionaries ask for support.
We who follow Christ and who are not called to ministries that require financial support should be willing to give to those who are. Love offerings. Monthly contributions. We must not look at supporting these workers as a burden. They’re serving God as they’ve been called to do. And they do it out of love for God … and for those they’re serving.