Church: Not Spiritual “Show & Tell”

“What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” (I Corinthians 14:26)

After detailing several ways in which members might wish to contribute to a worship service, the Apostle Paul adds the purpose of these gifts: “Let all things be done for edification.”  The word “edification” here means to “build up” — and by that he means building up the spiritual lives of others, not our own egos or spiritual resumes. This is significant.

In other words, Paul is saying that church is not a place for you to show off your abilities or knowledge.  A worship service is for the EDIFICATION of OTHERS, not a showcase for our own abilities. We don’t do church so that I can show what a powerful preacher I am, how great a singer you are, how learned a teacher one is, or how wise a counselor another has become.  Our gifts and abilities are not about US at all. They were bestowed upon us for the benefit of others.  Thus we should have the attitude that if our gifts can be used to build up others, then we are happy. But we should never consider it our “right” to use our gifts at church, as a means of self-fulfillment.  A church gathering is not “spiritual show & tell”, but an opportunity to use whatever God has given us, to build up the body of Christ.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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