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Devotional Thought

Devotional Thought : 1 Corinthians 14:17

June 7, 2010

You are giving thanks well enough, but the others are not edified. 1 Corinthians 14:17

Even our thanksgiving ought to be done in such a way as to edify others. Fortunately, this is usually the case. When you hear someone giving testament to what God has done in their life, you feel encouraged as well. Their thanksgiving stirs up your faith.

This entire chapter highlights the fact that spiritual gifts are given to edify others and not for our own enjoyment. We read, “for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort” (verse 3), “so that the church may be edified” (verse 5), “try to excel in gifts that build up the church” (verse 12), “all of these must be done for the strengthening of the church” (verse 26), and “so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged” (verse 31).

Sometimes we read lists of spiritual gifts that are perhaps more demonstrative than we are comfortable with. We may feel intimidated or inadequate. Yet we mustn’t let that distract us from the purpose of these gifts which is to strengthen, encourage and comfort. The attention isn’t on the person or the gift but rather on edifying others.

While God gives spiritual gifts with the express purpose of edifying the church when it comes together, we find that this wasn’t happening in Corinth “others are not edified” (verse 17). It’s something to think about in our church. Do we come to church with the aim of encouraging, strengthening, and edifying others? Or do we come to use our gift for our own enjoyment? Or perhaps we feel like we don’t have a gift at all?

Being encouraging, supportive, or simply helpful, actually doesn’t require a gift, but rather open eyes and a sensitive heart.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith