Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
1 Corinthians 14:1-12 (NRSV)
Pursue love and strive for the spiritual gifts, and especially that you may prophesy. For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God; for nobody understands them, since they are speaking mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, those who prophesy speak to other people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. Those who speak in a tongue build up themselves, but those who prophesy build up the church. Now I would like all of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. One who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.
Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you in some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is the same way with lifeless instruments that produce sound, such as the flute or the harp. If they do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is being played? And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are doubtless many different kinds of sounds in the world, and nothing is without sound. If then I do not know the meaning of a sound, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.
I am afraid that in many cases we have trained our teenagers to believe that when we do service projects or help other people, we are only doing it to please God. In this scripture, Paul is writing to the Corinthians about spiritual gifts. It seems that everyone in Corinth really wanted to be able to speak in tongues. Paul points out that when you speak in tongues if there is no one to interpret, then it is almost pointless. There is little reason for anyone to listen to you because they do not understand the sounds you are making. Paul advocates that if they are going to strive for a spiritual gift, we should strive for prophesy because prophecy will encourage, console, and build up the church.
We should not be doing service projects for God. We are definitely serving other people because God told us to do so. However, if we are operating in the mindset that the only reason we serve is to please God, we are doing a disservice to the church and the people we are serving. Instead, we should remember that God asked us to do these things, because people matter. We should serve to build up, encourage, and console, because Jesus Christ’s church cares about the health and well being of people. God is pleased when we serve our neighbor because God loves to see the church taking care of people that God created.
Help us to adjust our minds. Help us to get joy from seeing our neighbors thrive. Give us opportunities to love, build up, encourage, and even console your children around us.
Go with God!