In 1 Corinthians 9:12, Paul and his companions were willing to “suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.” “Hinder” here refers to making a cutting in or doing something to a road to impede or slow down another’s progress. In contrast, the Apostle Paul would rather experience personal suffering than to have his life be such a hindrance.
But what about us as parents and teachers today? We must be equally concerned that our lives not hinder the working of the gospel in our children’s lives. We want them to be Christlike, and they need to see in us what that is. When they do not, one consequence may be that our failings impede their progress. We become a hindrance. Whether it be unkind words, harsh responses, or neglectfulness of their concerns—what they see or hear causes us to be like that officer, blocking the path of those we want to see progress. Daily we need to seek the grace of God, rely upon that grace for consistency, and seek forgiveness for our failings—lest we hinder those we seek to help.