"...let all things be done for building up" (1 Corinthians 14:26).
When I was living life in the midst of thriving youth ministry, I came into contact with teenagers that found a place on all ends of the spectrum. There were those that were intelligent, creative, musical, dramatic, great speakers, incredible athletes, remarkable thinkers, funny, random, and anything and everything else in between. I will never forget one young man in particular.
Though he didn't like to be in front of big crowds, he enjoyed showing off his creative and colorful personality in other ways. In one instance, he though of himself as the next world class chef. He invited a group of friends to his home one weekend, and as they awoke on Saturday morning, he chose to wow his comrades with his culinary arts by preparing for them his "famous scrambled eggs." He started with eggs, added milk, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and then begin to throw in a little bit of "this" and maybe some of "that," and to top it all off, adding a cup (or so) of orange juice for that "little extra." Believe it or not, the eggs were actually...well...terrible! I remember as the story was told to me amidst all of the hysteria, how the sight and the smell turned the stomach before the taste ever could. The randomness of all the ingredients never produced what was hoped for. Random never does.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul writes in regard to order in the church. He is teaching of the various spiritual gifts that may operate, but provides both instruction and caution in the motivation of those gifts. Paul speaks of everyone bringing in something that edifies, adds to, and strengthens the overall health and effectiveness of the church. The right ingredients at the wrong time and with the wrong motivation doesn't increase the effectiveness of positive influence. It creates a mess. Let all things build up. He's saying not to focus on one area, but in how all areas are connected and built upon in order to strengthen the greater structure.
This is a challenge for many. Are you focusing and zeroing in on one area of your life at the expense of the health of other areas? It is so easy for good intentions to be misguided or misinterpreted. Whether it involves spiritual gifts in the church or spiritual growth in your own life, ask God to work a balance in your life. Allow Him to show you areas, even good areas, that are receiving more focus than is healthy for the overall health of your balance. Surrender your day, your life, your family, your job, your dreams, and your every concern to Him. Choose to think, speak, focus, and act upon that which will be more of a "building up" than a "halting," or a "tearing down." Without balance, whatever you build will not last.