There is something more important than great ministry

In chapter 12 of I Corinthians the Apostle Paul speaks in some detail about the variety of gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to members of God’s church. The Holy Spirit does not make the same gifts available to each person. One the one hand we need to be content with the gifts that He gives us. On the other hand, though, we need to give our best service to God, which is why we must work hard to develop the best gifts that God has made available to us:

Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. (I Corinthians 12:31a)

Great ministry is indeed a great thing. It is good for us to work diligently to grow in our possession of the “greater gifts.” However, the gifts in and of themselves are not to be an end for which we strive. They are not to become sources of pride for us which is why Paul closes the verse out by saying:

And yet I will show you the most excellent way (I Corinthians 12:31).

The “most excellent way” that Paul is talking about here, is the way of love (which he will elaborate on in chapter 13). Yes, it is good to have good gifts, yet without love even the “best” gifts are worthless. More than that, even the most ungifted person is completely satisfying to God if their life is filled with love. Gifts and talents can become a source of pride of us, but when they do, then they become completely worthless. The only kind of life that God delights in is the life of a humble believer who loves the brethren sincerely.

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