Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
1 Corinthians 14:1 NIV
Here evidently Paul, like the Lord shared in John 14, considers love in the practice of relationships in the Lord as a conscientious and voluntary effort, to be made because we are following the examples of Godly ways. It is perfected as a self-invited and intentional discipline. That is to be enlarged in the inner spiritual life by the Power of God sourced out of the Son, the life-giving spirit.
In comparison, spiritual gifts, as much as they are innocently empowering and liberating, are only tools to accommodate and accomplish His set purposes. The target of our workmanship with them is , first and foremost, others in the House of the Lord. We are to help the Lord to build them up in love.
In essence, cultural development in the House of the Lord is built according to a pattern of Godly ways and “protocols” that coming from above, being served and enriched by His spiritual gifts of our stewardship.
In a school whose center purpose is to impart knowledge. It enjoys, by default, a set vision for the future of a young one’s life. Teachers are expected to be equipped with knowledge and skills. But in a family, by comparison, we embrace a fundamentally different vision for a young one’s life in the relational dynamics of trust, love, forgiveness, honor, correction, discipline, mutual support, etc.
What first affords us for such “works of faith and love” are never to be considered and availed as tools stored in a box, activated only when a work is to done. No, it is the wholesomeness and togetherness of relationships, with all the ups and downs, joys and sorrows, seasons and processes as the embodiment and the “work”. It is the flows of all lives together. It is Life itself, cleans and nurtures like a mother tends her young, supports and disciplines like a father to a son, cherishes and cares like a husband to the beloved, respects and endears like one brother/sister to another.
With this difference is the choice of a “heavenly-cultured” life: the narrow path and the very gate into of the Family of God. Only here the divine order of the Kingdom of God is built up-fostered and established.
Humanity, as a whole and with each individual, is facing this choice. Now as from the beginning. Now as forever.
Indeed, this is the great divide.