2 Corinthians 11:7-12
2Co 11:7 Or did I commit a sin in lowering myself so that you might be lifted up, because I preached God’s gospel to you for nothing?
2Co 11:8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them in order to serve among you.
2Co 11:9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, because the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. So I refrained and will refrain from being a burden to you in any way.
2Co 11:10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this bragging of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia.
2Co 11:11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
2Co 11:12 And I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny the opportunity to those who would like to claim that in the mission they brag about, they work on an equal basis as us.
stewardship and strategy
There is a stewardship principle, taught by Paul himself, and based on the Old Testament, that those who serve God’s people should be supplied by God’s people. The ox should not be muzzled while it is threshing the grain. It appears that Paul’s Corinthian opponents were using this principle against him, because they criticized his decision to depend on outside support for his ministry to the Corinthians. Paul defended his strategy. He would not allow his critics to change his ministry. He answered to God alone.
Holy Spirit, keep us from changing due to the criticism of others, when you have designed our ministries.