Spiritual Gifts and the Ego

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Blog Post | Comments Off on Spiritual Gifts and the Ego

The church at Corinth was remarkably gifted, brilliant, and thriving in many respects. We notice the active and abundant spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3—miraculous gifts, speaking gifts, incredible spiritual vision and faith that can move mountains, social engagement and responsibility, along with un matched spiritual devotion (surrender my body to the flames). In essence, this community had dynamic gifts that were well mobilized. However, we see in verses 4-7 that the Corinthians had a dark side as well. They were impatient, harsh, critical, rude, jealous, ego-centric. Paul even articulates that you can have a thriving, growing church with powerful abilities but in actuality, you’re nothing.


This is a great danger in for emerging ministry leaders to be on guard with because there are far too many churches in previous generations who have succumbed to this temptation. It can be deadly, destructive, and cause many people’s lives to unravel. We must always remember that ministry activity, even growth, is not evidence that God is for everything that we’re doing and everything that we are.

Sometimes we find ourselves trying to prove our worth, trying to earn God’s approval and the approval of others, through how we perform in ministry. We can lose sight of the character from which God-honoring ministry should flow—namely from a posture of love, humility, patience, compassion, and grace. When this isn’t the truth, we’ll notice the telltale signs similar to what we see in the Corinthian church—impatience, irritability, devaluing people, envy, self-promotion and boasting, as well as perpetual arrogance. These may become secret sins, but they are no doubt, toxic ones, even deadly. I know ministries that appear to be thriving on the outside but are rotting away on the inside. The sad truth is that some of these ministry leaders aren’t even aware of it. Next generation ministry leaders must refuse to settle for this reality.