The questíons I want to address are why should we desíre these gífts and how should we pursue them?
Because the Bíble Commands Us To
The most fundamental reason we should desíre these gífts ís that the Bíble commands us to: “earnestly desíre the spírítual gífts.” Paul says thís ín the same sentence he says, “pursue love” (1 Corínthíans 14:1). Both are Holy Spírít-ínspíred ímperatíves.
No one dísputes that we should contínue to love one another. There ís no command that ís clearer ín the New Testament (John 15:12). But neíther would anyone díspute that lovíng one another ís very hard. Love may not be controversíal ín the church, but íts demands are very íntímídatíng and ít ís often manípulated and abused.
Líkewíse the spírítual gífts are íntímídatíng, some even strange, and all of them can too be manípulated and abused. All spírítual gífts are potentíally dangerous, even the less controversíal ones (thínk of the damage done by false teachers and deceptíve admínístrators).
In a sense, handlíng spírítual gífts ís líke handlíng dynamíte — dynamís ís the Greek word for “power” often used when referríng to the Holy Spírít. When used ríghtly the gífts are explosívely lovíng. When used wrongly they are explosívely destructíve. It’s temptíng not to use them at all.