1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Have you ever eaten pancakes without syrup? Have you tasted French fries without ketchup? Have you tried red velvet cake without cream cheese icing? More extreme examples, have you attempted to drive a car without gasoline or played the guitar without strings? Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, is making the same statement about love.
He basically said you can say all the correct things, but say it without love, and it is all noise. Love makes the right thing hearable. The content of what we say is important, but the heart of what we say determines its effectiveness. Paul states that it is possible to have massive faith (the kind that will move mountains), but our lives will be insignificant if we do not have love. Faith that doesn’t have love makes a person hollow and empty inside. Paul says in verse three it is possible to do all the correct things without love and end up with nothing. To paraphrase these verses, love is the only thing that makes for a substantive and influential life. It isn’t based on works or words, it isn’t knowledge or self-sacrifice. In real life, the real gain is love, which can only come from Jesus. Love is an outgrowth of our daily walk with Jesus.
Instead of getting our ideas of love from the movies, books, or tv, let’s find truth from the Bible. Today, decide that you will choose the kind of love that lasts. Love is an action; choose to sprinkle your words and acts with love.
God, thank You for loving me. Help me to choose love and set aside my need to accomplish a task. Help me to choose words that honor You and honor others. May I not be a “clanging cymbal”; may I love well. Amen.