"Together you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of that body. In the church God has given a place first to apostles, second to prophets, and third to teachers. Then God has given a place to those who do miracles, those who have gifts of healing, those who can help others, those who are able to govern, and those who can speak in different languages. Not all are apostles. Not all are prophets. Not all are teachers. Not all do miracles. Not all have gifts of healing. Not all speak in different languages. Not all interpret those languages. But you should truly want to have the greater gifts. And now I will show you the best way of all" (I Corinthians 12:27-31, NCV).
Paul said that he would show us the best way of all. We are also told we should "truly want the greater gifts". What was he talking about? What was the best gift to desire? To discover it, we must read right into chapter 13. It is here we discover Paul, himself, says he is nothing without love and guess what? Neither am I. I can be gifted in many ways but if I do not have love, those gifts are nothing. I am nothing. I am glad he gave us clarity on what love should look like and how love behaves in verses four through eight. It makes a great guideline for us to follow. It also brings conviction to my heart when I read this chapter and realize how often I have missed the best way of all.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV).
I guess it is time to stop “wishing” for gifts that He hasn’t given to me and spend my days using the best one of all, Love. Rather than allowing myself to become jealous and envy those who have what I might wish for, I can choose to love them and enjoy each and every gift God has placed within them. Maybe it is time to just take my eyes off of other people and their abilities and begin to work on my ability to love. What would happen within our families , or our places of employment, even the church body, if we excelled more in loving one another rather than competing with one another?
God didn't make me a dancer, but he made my friends, Rachel and Abbi beautiful dancers. That is Abbi in the picture above and I enjoy watching them dance. I can encourage them in their gifts. I am not going to be a contestant on Master Chef, but I can feed my family and every now and then I surprise them with a good meal. I encourage you to use your gifts and talents for the Lord, but choose the most excellent gift of all, Love. Keep your eyes on Him. Love the gifts He has placed in those around you. Then ask the Lord to show you if you are harboring jealousy or envy in your heart and then seek to desire the best way of all.