Why did God give us spiritual gifts?
A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other (1 Corinthians 12:7)
What is a spiritual gift?
It is not a natural talent. The Holy Spirit gives each of us a gift when we became followers of Christ, and the gift is for the good of the church, His body. Gifts listed in the Bible include teaching, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, helping, administration, and others.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:7)
What is even better than exercising these gifts?
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Exercising a spiritual gift without love is useless.
Without love, we are a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Without love, we are nothing.
Without love, we gain nothing that lasts.
Love is always the better way, but I have missed it many times.
I have not loved.
I have served without love, gone to work without love, given gifts without love. I have gone school shopping with my kids without love and attended parties without love. I have been selfish with my time and looked after my own interests to the detriment of others.
In all those moments when love was not reigning in my heart, I have wasted my time. No matter how well I was dressed or how widely I have smiled, I have hurt people’s ears with my voice and did not advance the kingdom of God. Nothing was gained from my actions without love.
I have also loved.
On the other hand, I have gone to work with love in my heart for all of my colleagues and students. I have loved my children on shopping sprees and attended parties wishing to bless all I met and honor the person who invited me. I have forgiven and sacrificed greatly and genuinely for those that have been kind to me, and for those that have not.
Love is the “secret sauce” that sets the spiritual gift free in full power.
Some say I have the gift of teaching, but if I ever go to the front of a classroom or find myself on stage to speak but do not have love, then I am what God’s Word says I am: I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. I am nothing, and I gain nothing.
As we get out of our beds each morning this week and check our to-do list for the day, let’s stop and check our heart first. Why work just as hard as we would anyway, and have it all be for nothing because we did everything without love?
Let’s not ruin our spiritual gifts.
Picture Explanation: We have a daughter that’s a nurse and now gainfully employed at a nationally ranked hospital. She showed an unbelievable amount of resilience and worked incredibly hard to become the guest of honor at this celebration dinner. May God use her mightily in the lives of her patients and all who know her. May she go to work every day with love for her co-workers and patients.
© 2019 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
Thanks for the reminder that we are nothing without love, Laurie. You have always been a shining example of love to me. For that, I love you!
If you have ever seen God’s love in me, it was God you saw because I got out of the way. I still get tricked into believing I can love authentically in my own strength. I can’t. No one can.
Such a good word Lauri. I have been that clanging cymbal and am learning to depend more on the Lord each day. Thank you for the beautiful reminder.
Oh, my friend, we have all been a clanging cymbal. May He continue to tease it out of our lives, gently but firmly, and for good.