1 Corinthians 12:31 – Earnestly desire the greater gifts. And yet I show you a still more excellent way.
All that God has done for us comes from His attribute of love, for God is love! Any gift He imparts to a believer comes from a motivation of His love. He expects His children to be operating with the same motivation as His. Desire for spiritual gifts is good and proper. The question becomes, “What is our motivation?” For some, it may be a need to feel accepted by God. For others, it may be the need for attention, and for others perhaps a sense of power. Our motivations must be measured up against the love of God.
Paul the apostle spent a great deal of time addressing the use of spiritual gifts. The subject is not a small one, nor should it be quickly glossed over. He bridges the believers’ instructions in 1 Corinthians twelve and fourteen with chapter thirteen. This chapter is known as the “love chapter.” We must be careful not to make the mistake so many have made setting the subject of love against the gifts of the Spirit or thinking that love is superior to the gifts, thus dismissing the need for these gifts. That view completely misses Paul’s point of writing these chapters. The gifts are an important part of our relationship to Christ. They are also our resource to more effectively share the good news of the kingdom. When our motivation is born out of love, the gifts become what God intended, conduits of His love. The same Holy Spirit who imparts His gifts to believers is the One who supplies the love of God through every believer.
Allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart. Ask the Lord to reveal your true motivation. Ask the Holy Spirit to make your motivation pure. Ask for His supply of grace to move you into greater degrees of His love for others.