We are all members of Christ’s body, the church. The members of the Corinthian church seemingly disagree about the value of spiritual gifts; they have established a hierarchy of gifts and are perhaps choosing to stress one gift to the exclusion of the others. Paul reminds them that God creates the variety of gifts; therefore, differences enhance the unity of the body. God bestows gifts upon each of us; each gift brings certain aspects and values to the whole; each is useful and necessary for the other. Just as our physical body parts depend upon one another to function, all Christians depend upon others in order to function appropriately. The objective becomes the good of the entire body of Christ.
Paul’s “still more excellent way” does not describe a gift to attain at the exclusion of the other gifts but a more excellent way of striving for those gifts. Christians are to “strive for the greater gifts,” which Paul develops in chapter 13. Love becomes the binding force.
Have you ever been part of a team? In my growing-up years, I played little league sports and participated in a number of other team activities. I learned a lot about teamwork from these experiences. Whether executing a precision marching drill, drafting school policy, or trying to outpace an athletic opponent, each member of the team played a vital role. The end product depended on everyone working together to accomplish that stated goal. All then receive honor.
As members of the body of Christ, Christ’s team, we care for one another with mutual affection. We affirm others’ gifts, acknowledging our dependency upon one another.
Creator God, help me to use your gifts for the building up of the entire body of Christ. Amen.