“So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.” ()1 Corinthians 12:31
Did you catch that? “You should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.” Helpful to who? Me?
“That’s fine Ian, that’s how I live at the moment. I don’t need to change. I always look for the best for me.”
No that is not what Paul is saying. Paul is saying the way to think is that the gifts are for the body. For the building up of the body, for the good of other people. Whenever we give or share a gift it is not for us. Imagine how church would be if we thought about the gifts with those parameters. Watch this space, Paul is about to tell us “the better way”.
Most of us think of the gifts from our perspective. What’s in it for me? What can I get out of it? You mean I only have the measly gift of ____, when my brother has the gift of _____ . Let’s face it we get so competitive about the gifts when they are meant to build up the body, not tear it down.
Have you ever thought about why you go to church? Most times we go because we want to get something out of it. “I don’t think I will go today because Ian is preaching and I just don’t get anything out of his sermons. I think I will stay home.” “I don’t think I will go tonight; I went to church this morning. I don’t need to go along tonight as well.” Hang on a minute why are you going? Just for you, right? Imagine if you changed your attitude and you realised if you are not there then your gift is not there to add to the body ministry and build someone up. Perhaps you should go for someone else’s sake. Who knows if God wants to use your gift of a word of knowledge to encourage someone. Now that would be a radical way of looking at it, wouldn’t it? You know from yesterday, a negative tag question must be answered in the affirmative. Ha ha. Sorry I am just playing with you.
Paul is showing us a better way. He sincerely wants us to see a better way. Firstly, desiring the most helpful gifts, but there is more to come. We are coming now to a very familiar passage. One so familiar that even non Christians and devout heathen know this passage is in the Bible. Maybe we will end up seeing it with new eyes.
Remember to keep the connections flowing. Don’t cut any passage off from its context.
An Excellent Attitude Responds With: “The Answer Is Yes – Now What Is The Question?”Robb Thompson
I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.Abe Lincoln