13 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. 2 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. 3 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.1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV)
Our puppy, Loki, is full of mischief and chaos as his name suggests. He is a mixed breed, mountain feist and mountain cur, apparently useful in hunting small game. Since I am not a hunter, Loki will never be useful for that purpose. However, watching him use his gifts for hunting rabbits or squirrels in unproductive ways like clawing, bitting, chewing, and destroying everything in our house made me realize that he needs a new purpose and putting him in a cage just won’t do.
I can’t sling a gun, but I sure can sling a frisbee — a great joy that my sons have taken up in sport and leisure time. Now they are teaching me the fine art of throwing discs with a purpose. So, my new trainee with teeth and claws that just won’t quit has a new purpose, to run and snatch discs out of the air. After being cooped up all day it just takes Loki about 20 minutes to wear himself out after catching and fetching which entertains and pleases his master.
God has given man spiritual gifts, but we are to seek and find good purposes for those spiritual gifts given. Edification is the building up of others within the body of Christ, the church. All gifts should be used to bring joy to another’s life which pleases God, our master. Love is the supreme purpose of all. So, when it comes to using our gifts, God calls us to build up the church for the ultimate reason of love. Love seeks the interest of others and not ourselves. When we use our gifts to benefit others, the act becomes our reward in itself and not to gain something in return.
May we use our gifts to bring joy to his church.