“To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands … we have become, and are still, like the scum of the world” (v11-13). Some of the Corinthians’ criticism of Paul and Apollos seems to have been because the apostles were not “successful” in the expected way. They worked hard with their hands and never became wealthy. They were leaders, but the world saw them as “scum.” They were “servants of Christ” (v1) but homeless.
“We are fools for Christ’s sake” (v10). If Jesus is our leader, we can’t always expect to succeed by the world’s standards. Our aim is to hear the Lord’s “well done” (v5).