Carrying on from chapter 13 Paul then puts the desire for the gifts of the Spirit into the envelope of walking in the love of the Lord.
For most of the chapter Paul is discussing prophecy as against tongues. Both these gifts have their place and purpose.
He tells us here that prophecy is the gift most to be desired, because it brings immediate strength, encouragement and comfort to others and edifies or builds up the church. (v3, 4) Whereas the one who speaks in tongues is speaking to God and edifying himself. And unless there is someone with the gift of interpretation, or the speaker can bring the interpretation themselves, then it doesnít benefit the ones who listen.
In verse 13 Paul gives this interesting instruction: For this reason, anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. So, if we feel strongly that God has given us a message in tongues, even as we speak it out we should be praying for the interpretation, or that God will give it to someone else who has this gift.
None of us is a soloist in these things. We are a body, the body of Christ, and we all need each other to bring our part, so that the whole body may be blessed and built up.
What the use of spiritual gifts ultimately boils down to is that each of us should be dedicated to:
Letís make sure we are ready, yielded and willing to be obedient to the Lord, hungry to do his will, keeping our lives clean before him, keeping short accounts with God, and then he can use us to bless and build up his people.