Many Christians covet only a right relationship with God, forgetting that they have a ministry not only to God but also to the Body of Christ. They are content with praying, reading the Bible daily but forget that they need to assimilate the Word and then live it out to be an example of the believers and also to build up, serve, and strengthen fellow Christians.
The word “covet” usually does not have a positive connotation for it usually means “to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others as in coveting another’s property.” It’s aims are selfish.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:31” But covet earnestly the best gifts and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” which rather, relates to wishing for something good like a prize, which could benefit more than the receiver of such gifts.
In chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians are mentioned several spiritual gifts for ministry – wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment between spirits, speaking in tongues. Chapter 13 reveals the better gifts of love, evidenced by patience, kindness, not envying, not boasting, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, not delight in evil, rejoices with truth, and the other two greatest gifts of faith and hope.
Paul reminds us that if the gifts make us proud or think we are better than someone else, then we would have coveted negatively. However, if we have love, faith and hope which bless and build up our relationships with God and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ then it pleases Him.
Do you covet the gifts which will help you minister to the needs of the body?
Are you puffed up because you have them? Or in the reverse, do you feel that you have no gift at all to offer in God’s service?
Let us not stop only at our relationship with God. Paul reminds us that if we call Jesus our Lord, there are different kinds of gifts for us, but the same Spirit to help us fulfil our function in the Body. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Have you coveted the best gifts of faith, hope and love? He is waiting to impart His gifts to you to enable you to minister. Will you ask and receive them with thanks for service to God and your brothers and sisters?
Ask and it shall be given you. Matthew 7:7.