But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this; that in preaching the gospel I may offfer it free of charge, and so not make use of my right in preaching it.
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law, so as to win those under the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
compensation for preaching
Preaching the gospel was Paul's gift and calling. He couldn't stop preaching even if he wanted to. He was driven by the desire to do what God wanted. It was his spiritual gift. By the tone of this passage it was apparent that he was not being compensated for his contribution for preaching. A man must provide for his own needs in some manner. I consider those preachers who have accumulated great wealth from preaching and those who are struggling to pay their bills. We need to financially help our preachers to sustain them and their families that they may continue to proclaim God's word.