Several things are at play here. Paul’s continuing the discussion about how one should utilize their liberty as a believer.
He uses himself as an example of someone who is doing this rightly (that would scare me). For Paul, he was specifically referring to his use of his own authority.
The principle is that even if you are free to do something, it doesn’t mean it is always the best thing to do.
Paul makes the biblical case for not exasperating God’s servants. It is wrong for a person or group of people in any case (spiritual or physical) to not take care of someone who is serving you.
This is especially true when that person is a minister of Christ that’s feeding your soul.
Even with those things being true, Paul reminds the church of how he laid down that right so that he wouldn’t be a hindrance to them.
The truth is, the Corinthians needed to take care of Paul financially. He deserved it because of his faithful service to the Lord. But, they were too immature in their faith to take that step.
So Paul chooses to serve them without asking for that right. Even though he was completely within his rights to do so, he did what was going to serve them best for where they were at that time.
We don’t fight for our rights when doing so brings weak believers down. It’s not about us.
When we make our lives about serving the Lord first, we will be willing to put up with a lot, because the reward of serving Christ is great!
But don’t bite the hand that feeds you. If you keep doing it, there won’t be a hand to feed you for long, and then you starve…