“Do everything in love” – 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV).
There was once a young man who was admitted from a village school to an elite college. Once at the top of his class there he met star performers in almost every subject and even more in extracurricular activities where he once used to dominate. The young man hated being eclipsed by all these talented students and after one term he withdrew back to his village school. There he was sure of his number one position. Unfortunately when it came to university admission this school could not secure a first grade and so he missed out. He then wished he had stick in the elite school. “Maybe there was something good I could have excelled in while there!”
The fate of this young man is perhaps similar to one who compares the gifts God has blessed believers and feels his is at the short end of the stick. Though the gifts blessed believers with were for the building of the church (1 Cor 12: 4-6); yet they can also be misused for personal edification creating a toxic atmosphere of unnecessary rivalry.
Such was the situation with the church in Corinth. Against this the Apostle Paul reminded the believers, that actually, everyone had a far much superior gift only that the focus was elsewhere. It was the gift of love. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 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. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1Cor 13:1- 3).
Paul described love “the greatest of these” (vv 13); yet unfortunately, this gift is not promoted as much compared to other more pronounced gifts. And, like, the young man, some have withdrawn their service, because after all they believe are not gifted as much. Yet the beauty here is that when it comes to love every believer has not only been blessed with it but can equally excel. “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away” (I Cor 13:8).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of creation, of heaven and earth, I thank you for the gift of love which you have blessed me with for the building of your church and so I pray to use it as freely as you have given, in the blessed name of Jesus.