1 Corinthians 14:12 – So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.
We all want to have spiritual gifts. God has blessed us with His Spirit and we know that the Spirit manifests itself on each of us in different ways at different times. Our desire is to experience this manifestation. In the last couple of chapters (1 Corinthians 12-13), we have seen Paul talking about different manifestations of the Spirit; different gifts, if you will.
In chapter 12 he talks about how we all have gifts and they are all different. He tells us that we must each use our gifts so that the church will operate as the body of Christ, and if one member is not using their gift the whole body suffers. Then in chapter 13 Paul speaks of Love. He tells us how Love is the most important thing. Without Love all the gifts and manifestations of the Spirit are useless. All things must be done in Love.
Now, as we read in this chapter Paul compares two specific gifts. He talks about tongues and prophecy. Speaking in tongues is good because it edifies and builds up your spirit within you. When you speak in tongues you are speaking to God and only god can understand you. Prophecy, on the other hand, is for edifying and building up others. When you prophecy you are receiving a word directly from God to speak to someone.
When you are in a group it is better that you prophecy, because tongues is not beneficial to those around you, unless there is someone to interpret. In this verse we see that we are to “excel in gifts that build up the church.” It should be our desire when we are with others to help them in whatever way we can.
When the Spirit manifests itself on you it is not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of others as well. Do all that you can to share all that God has given you. Eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit, but try to excel in the ones you can use to strengthen one another.