Why character is always more important than spiritual gifts


Spiritual gifts are amazing. All of these gifts, coming from the Holy Spirit, enable us to glorify God by serving one another. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 gives us a simple explanation of what they are, what they are for, and who enables us to use them.

"There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."

These gifts, along with those mentioned in Romans 12:6-8, enable the church to grow in service to the body and to those outside the body. These gifts allow the church to exercise God's goodness. However, on their own they are lacking, and without the most important component they mean nothing. What they need to work with is a character full of love.

Love is the key ingredient

According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:31, love is the "best way of all." He goes on to explain in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that love is the key ingredient that gives meaning and weight to all the gifts that are being exercised.

"I may speak in the tongues of men, even angels; but if I lack love, I have become merely blaring brass or a cymbal clanging. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may fathom all mysteries, know all things, have all faith — enough to move mountains; but if I lack love, I am nothing. I may give away everything that I own, I may even hand over my body to be burned; but if I lack love, I gain nothing." (CJB)

Friends, God's gifts working through us need to be powered by His love. This is the "way of life that is best of all." (1 Corinthians 12:31, NLT)

Godly people did it

All of the Bible's key people, those who served God powerfully, did it this way.

David, although having been anointed as Israel's King long before King Saul died, did not chase after the throne. Instead he loved Saul, Jonathan, and even wept for them at their death.

Paul, who was not a pushover, lovingly taught, encouraged, rebuked and pointed all to Christ. He was martyred preaching the love of God in Christ.

Jesus, the greatest Man of all, is God's love personified. He died on the cross for our sake, released forgiveness for all our sins, and gave us hope in His resurrection. Until now He keeps loving us.

We should let our character be moulded by love, too.