After laying out the way of love… that love is the most excellent way and should be the guiding principle for how we connect and interact with others, Paul takes on problems in worship. His basic point, love should guide the way we act toward others. Love desires that we all help others to grow, to be edified. Love wants the best for others rather than showing off for self.
Gifted people at times have a way of making others feel less about themselves. This should not be the way of Christ-followers.
Paul leads off this chapter with these words, Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy (1).
Gifts are helpful and important but it is the building up of everyone in the church that is important, not anyone showing off his/her gifts. This is why prophecy in worship is more important than tongues (unless the tongue is interpreted). Why is this? Because someone speaking in a foreign language does not help anyone grow in the Lord. Whereas speaking some instruction, revelation or knowledge in a language and manner everyone can comprehend is good for others and the body of Christ gathered in worship.
What do I do with all this?
I must use the gifts I have for the benefit of my brothers and sisters. I need to use my gifts and abilities in a way that builds others up rather than building me up. Especially in public gifts, the attitude God desires is selflessness. It is not about me… it is about building others up in the way of Jesus by using my gifts with 1Corinthians 13 love.
Lord, help me to see others, rather than self. Help me see what benefits Your body, not myself. Help me live the way of love even as I seek Your gifts. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.