Just because you CAN do something….

… doesn’t mean you should do it.

There’s some great examples of this in 1 Corinthians 14. Paul says

Whenever you come together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, another language, or an interpretation. (vs 26)

Each one has an ability to contribute. Each one has something worth while to say. But in the same verse he says –

All things must be done for edification.

Sometimes this will mean being silent. For example, someone may speak in another language

but if there is no-one to interpret, that person should keep silent in the church and speak to himself and God. (vs 28)

If there is no interpreter this gift fails to be done for edification of the church so the speaker, while given this particular gift, must choose not to use it at that time.

A second example is given – that of prophecy. A person may be sharing their word of prophecy

but if something has been revealed to another person sitting there, the first prophet should be silent. (vs 30)


God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (vs 33)

There is something bigger and more important than our own “right” to use our gifts as we please. That is not God’s concern and neither should it be ours. Our concern should be for others. In particular for the edification of the church, and the order and peace of God’s nature. This comes only with love. Love for our God and for others. Without love our gifts are nothing.

If I speak the languages of men and of angels but do not have love, I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith, so that I can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)