1 Corinthians 12:31
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
Note 23 at 1Co 12:31: The definition of "covet" is "1. To desire. 2. To wish for longingly (American Heritage Dictionary). There is no mistaking that Paul was instructing these Corinthians to get all the spiritual gifts they could. This seems somewhat opposed to the Spirit giving to every person as He chooses (see note 32 at 1Co 12:11), but of course, there is no contradiction. The Holy Spirit chooses to give His gifts to those who are hungry for them (Mt 5:6).
Note 24 at 1Co 12:31: Paul was not saying that walking in love is more excellent than walking in the gifts of the Spirit. Instead, he was saying that using the gifts motivated by love for the other members of the body is superior to using the gifts for selfish reasons. This fits perfectly with the illustrations of the body that he used in this chapter and the illustrations he used in the first three verses of 1Co 13.
Some have mistakenly taught that this verse is saying that people should shun the gifts and just walk in love. Yet this very verse stresses coveting the best gifts. Also, after teaching on love in 1Co 13, Paul went back to ministering on the proper use of the gifts in the church meetings. If he intended to turn people from the gifts of the Spirit to only love, then he would not have brought up the gifts of the Spirit again.
Paul sandwiched this teaching on God's kind of love in between his teaching about the gifts, because he was stressing that the gifts have to be operated by love.