Knowing that I have gifts from the spirit that carry a specific purpose and calling that are as intrinsic to my person as the color of my eyes and the nuance of my voice is a divine blessing and continual encouragement. If I try to usurp the Holy Spirit by trying to engage my spiritual gifting in carnal pursuits, I become immediately powerless…more than that…a nuisance…a loud, obnoxious, nagging, intolerable nuisance. We must lend our ears and soften our hearts to this most profound and necessary nugget of understanding: Spiritual activity performed devoid of love is Godless religion. Our only access to love is through the Spirit of God at work within us because he loved us first. Enlivened by the power of that love, we can accomplish the works of God through his instilled gifting. Any other way is the way of self, empowered by ego, for the enrichment of our agenda. “Those are harsh words”, you might say. Yes, indeed they are! As well are the words of Paul in this passage. What we can hope in and confidently go out upon is the un-surpassing joy of knowing Jesus. In that knowing, we are connected with, transformed by, and empowered with the love of God. This so that in our daily lives the gifts of the Spirit may be activated by the only true source of love that we have in the God of Creation who himself demonstrated his love for us in the Gospel which is the power of God alive in us forever and ever amen.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3