“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:1,2 (ESV)
Just as we need to discover and develop our spiritual gifts, Ken Boa reminds us in Conformed to His Image that there are dangers to spiritual gifts as well. Boa lists 10 dangers, which are summarized here.
We may forget that spiritual gifts are just that…gifts…and try to earn them.
We can also fail to exercise our gift with the proper motivation…love.
We do this when we use our gifts for our own benefit…not for others.
Or when we use a gift selfishly to build up our own reputation instead of serving the body of Christ.
Self-centered use of a spiritual gift may also result in pride.
We may attempt to use our spiritual gift in our own strength…not His strength.
We may project our spiritual gifts onto others so that we fall into the temptation of judging others because they don’t act like we do.
In any or all of these ways…we may exercise our gift and not accomplish God’s will.
As we begin to discover our spiritual gifts, we may decide that we don’t want to exercise that particular gift. For instance, the gift may seem to go against our natural tendencies such as when an introvert is given the gift of evangelism.
A prominent danger is exalting the gift more than the Giver.
We do this especially with visible and up-front gifts.
This may cause us to minimize the less visible gifts…like service.
Another danger with spiritual gifts is to take the position of using certain gifts such as tongues to verify a person’s status as a believer.
Scripture never says that every believer will have a certain gift.
Finally, the enemy can counterfeit spiritual gifts. Therefore, we should be cautious and discern the true source of all gifts.
As we continue to develop our gifts, we should be aware of these dangers without allowing them to keep us from using our gifts for His glory!
Prayer: Holy Spirit, protect me from these dangers as I seek to use the gifts You have given me.