"Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel." NKJV
You've researched the best running methods, worked out with specialized techniques and even purchased the best shoes needed for running. You're pumped and ready for the race, but there's a problem. This is a relay, and you have yet to practice with your team. And in all the excitement, you have missed an opportunity to equip them all for the race.
While this may be a far-fetched idea, many of those inside the church are running a relay race by themselves. They are excited about the race and are equipping themselves in every way but miss an important part of running with Christ: helping others to run.
In 1 Corinthians 14, the church in Corinth was excited about the gift of tongues. They were pursuing this spiritual gift with great passion and zeal, but they had missed the purpose of the gifts, which is the edification of the church.
As followers of Christ, we are to walk in the Spirit and be zealous for spiritual gifts so that we are able to edify the church and share the Gospel. Gifts are not simply for our benefit but for the benefit of those around us. When we understand this and begin desiring gifts for this purpose, we will find the race much more fulfilling and the prize at the end all the more incredible.
Life Lesson: Your faith walk is not just about your winning, but about helping others to win and excel.
Thank You for the opportunity to run this race. Because of Your love and grace, I am forgiven and free to use my gifts for Your glory and the benefit of others. Teach me to use them wisely and to desire them for the benefit of the church. Use me to help others in their walk with You. In Jesus' name, Amen.