There is a popular board game available for groups that involves asking players to choose one of two options. Some of the possibilities include: Would you Rather… “Run 28 miles in 68 degree weather” or “8 miles in 100 degree weather”?
“Shave your head and get a tattoo on your entire scalp” or “permanently shave your eyebrows”?
“Live your life in good health but in bad debt” or “Live with a constant sinus infection but with great wealth”?
If you stop to think about it, the word ‘rather’ is pretty important. It shows preference for one thing over another, or makes one thing better than another. In the Bible, there are several times when a writer says that he prefers something over something else. In Acts 5:29 Peter says they should “obey God rather than men.” Hebrews 11:25 commends Moses who chose “to suffer with the people of God rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin for a season.”
One of the great comments for us to consider along this line comes in 1 Corinthians 14:19. Paul is speaking in the first person, about his preference, and it informs us what our choice should be, as well. “In the church, I would rather speak 5 words with understanding, to teach others also, than to speak 10,000 words in another language.” To put it another way, if you asked Paul, “would you rather be able to amaze people by speaking in a multitude of strange tongues, or teach people with a simple message about the Gospel,” Paul would quickly take the second option.
It seems, then, that in our fellowship together, the ability to speak plainly and teach one another is of the upmost importance. That being the case, I would rather be able to communicate with more people during worship than impress a few people. Think about your own interactions- do you gravitate toward impressing, or leaving an impression?