Gifts of prophecy are not the best spiritual litmus test

 

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (I Corinthians 13:2 NIV)

Today there is a renewed interest in the gift of prophecy among evangelical Christians. There is also a desire among many to possess the kind of faith that can literally move mountains, and the ability to fathom all Biblical mysteries and knowledge. I think that one of the reasons why people want to possess these gifts is so that they can confirm their relationship to God in a tangible way. They want to prove to themselves that God really does exist, that He loves them, and that He is pleased with the way that they are living their lives.

But there is a much better test of a spiritual relationship with God. Indeed, according to Paul, these great gifts are worthless in and of themselves, they are only spiritually valuable to the one who possesses them if he or she uses them in love. If you do not have love, you are nothing, spiritually.

If you really want an accurate evaluation of your spiritual standing with God, you could start with examining your love for others. Are your action towards others genuinely designed to achieve what is best for them, or what is best for yourself? Do you sacrifice yourself for others the way that Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for you on the cross, or do you greedily sacrifice their interests on the altar of your interests? You do not have to walk on water or move mountains or speak in tongues in order to be a great Christian. Instead, you need to humbly repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ, and start loving other people the way that Jesus loves you.

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