Q. Like you, I believe that not everyone has the same Spiritual Gifts, and that God gives them according to His perfect will for the common good. I also believe that our gifts don’t change, but that God sometimes gives us a gift we don’t have to fulfill a specific purpose. But I was reading I Corinthians 12 and found something that confused me. Verse 31 says,” But earnestly desire the greater gifts.” Also, I Cor. 14:1 says, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”
When he said “desire the greater gifts” and “especially that you may prophesy” was he speaking to those who didn’t know what their gifts are? Or am I missing something? Thanks in advance for your help!
A. Paul was encouraging us to desire the greater gifts because they do the most good for the Body of Christ. He used the gift of prophecy as an example. Some people in Corinth wanted tongues so they could show everybody how spiritual they were. Paul said he’d rather speak 5 clear words of instruction than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue. (1 Cor. 14:18-20)
The Spirit distributes gifts to each of us as He sees fit, but wanting the greater gifts is an indication of our desire to do as much as we can to further the Kingdom and strengthen our brothers and sisters. I think Paul was also implying that our desire to help build the body of Christ could influence the Spirit’s decision on which gifts to give us.