Purpose of the Gifts

These gifts of the Holy Spirit are freely given for the sole purpose of serving the body of Christ. (1 Pet. 4:10). They are not to exalt the believer who has the gift; they are to enable that believer to serve other believers in the body of Christ as well as to bring unbelievers into the knowledge of Christ.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (1 Corinthians 12:7).

Be very careful that you do not abuse the gifts. You can abuse the gifts: by not using them, by using them for self gain, or by using them without love.

1) Not using the Gifts

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
(II Timothy 1:6)

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery
(1 Timothy 4:14)

2) Using the gifts for self-gain

You can use the gifts with the wrong motives, to manipulate others, to glorify yourself, for self-satisfaction, to gain wealth etc. rather than purely to minister to others. You can also glory more in one gift than the other. Be careful, for though there are different gifts, it is the same Spirit that gives them and they are all important and should be used only to minister to others, for the glory of God. For all are stewards of the gifts of the Spirit and accountable as such.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (I Peter 4:10)

All will be judged on their stewardship of the gifts

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (I Corinthians 4:2)

3) Using the Gifts without Love

I once heard a preacher say "Be careful that the gifts do not take you where your character cannot sustain you." We must always be in a place of total surrender, cleansing ourselves everyday when we are operating in the gifts. We must walk in love, which is the sum total of all the fruits of the Spirit. The Lord once gave me a revelation of Love as a pie chart with 8 slices, each slice was named: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, long-suffering, and self-control. There can be no joy without love, no peace without love, no goodness without love, etc. These are slices of love, with love as the whole. God is love and we are called to BE LOVE like Him, not just to have love. This is the character of Christ. If we walk in love, we can never misuse the gifts of the Spirit. But if we don't, we, Paul says, are but clanging cymbals.Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. (1 Corinthians 12:31) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Jesus said: By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. (John 13:35)