But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31.
Some are in danger of giving way to envy lest another shall have the supremacy. They are liable not to recognize the gifts of their fellow workers as being as necessary to the success of the work as are their own gifts. But true love for God carries with it true, reverential trust. And he who loves God will love his brother also.
There is to be no ordering, no domineering, no masterly authority. The love of God, in a healing, life-giving current, is to flow through the life. The spirit and words and deeds of every worker are to show that he realizes that he is acting in Christ’s place. The power that he receives from the Great Teacher is the power to educate others, not the power to order or dictate. He is to come to Christ as one who desires to know how to teach and help others.
Patient, cheerful contentment is one of the “best gifts.” So also is courage to follow in the path of duty, even when this path separates us from friends. But courage of conviction must never lead to stubbornness, which leads a man to adhere to his own ideas. Let all watch and pray.
The talent of speech is a wonderful gift—a gift that can be a great power for good or for evil.
Intellectual ability, good taste, skill, refinement, true elevation—these God uses in His work. But they must first be placed under His jurisdiction. The Lord’s presence is to be a controlling power. He whose heart blends with the heart of Christ is, in desires and practices, conformed to the will of Christ.
We are to covet earnestly the best gifts, but this does not mean that we are to seek to be first. We are to strive earnestly for power to follow Christ’s example, that we may be heralds of His gospel. This is true religion. Temptations come; suspicions and evil surmising make it hard for us to preserve the spirit of the higher life; nevertheless the Lord desires us to walk straight forward in His blessed, holy light.—Pacific Union Recorder, July 26, 1906.
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