There is a reason that Paul writes 1 Corinthians 13. When it comes to the gifts of the Spirit, everything must be done in love. It might be one of the most important lessons we will ever learn.
“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. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-7 (NASB)
Operating in the gifts of the Spirit must be done in love. Paul writes that without love, we are just loud noises, without love we are nothing. God is love and when he looks at his children, he sees Jesus. Many gifts of the Spirit allow God to share very sensitive information with us. The information is usually intended to pray for someone for their healing and freedom. Sometimes the Lord may ask us to share something with that person. Timing is also very important.
God speaks to me often through dreams. This is a prophetic revelatory gift. I give God full credit for this gift and I love blessing other people with the fruit of it. The Lord had me study how he spoke to people through dreams in the Bible before he gave me my first significant dream. He showed me how he spoke to Joseph that Mary was pregnant. Once I dreamed that some friends of mine had a child, then the scene changed and I saw the child in an athletic training room. Then I dreamed that I was supposed to tell the couple that because they were to have a child, they were supposed to end their strenuous ministry. I went to spend time with the couple and they said to me, “we are wondering if we are supposed to stop our ministry and do something new.” I said I had a dream that I was supposed to tell you that you were supposed to stop your ministry and do something new. The Holy Spirit stopped me from sharing the part about the child with them so I held onto that part of the dream. About a year later, the Lord told me to share that part. I did and they said, “we haven’t told anyone but we are pregnant.” The timing was very important. I also needed to share the message I had for them in love. In fact, it actually took them a while after they had the baby to let go of their ministry. I could have been rude and butted into their business accusing them of not obeying God but I knew I had to let them process what they felt God was saying to them in their own time.
God is love. To share a word from God with someone without love can deeply wound them. Have you ever been wounded by someone in the church? Chances are someone was not operating in love and they hurt you. The good news is, if you have been wounded, God can heal you.
We have to learn how to walk in love to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. Otherwise, we will just walk around wounding everyone. We will just be a noise that can hurt others.
If we have someone’s best interest at heart, if we see someone the way God sees them, we will walk in love. I pray that the Lord will teach you to walk in love.