1 CORINTHIANS 13:1
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
If you think I would let February go by without commenting on the infamous “love” passage in first Corinthians, you are mistaken. We can breeze by this chapter because it’s familiar; we read it at weddings, hear it in church, and see it on plaques in people’s homes. At the beginning of this year, I sat in my neighbor’s living room meditating on this passage, and the Holy Spirit opened it up to me in a whole new way! Firstly, I swapped the word “love” for “Jesus.” While I doubt respected theologians recommend word-swapping, the Word inspired this swap because we know that God is love! The result of considering Jesus in this passage was that it took the focus off of me!
Speaking in the tongues of men and angels sounds like a powerful thing! However, without Jesus, our words don’t have the power to touch people’s hearts. It’s easy to sense when authenticity and genuine love is lacking from a person. Sometimes the most powerful way to experience the love of God is through His people. It’s so discouraging when I meet people who grew up in church and turned their backs on God because God’s people turned their backs on them. Wise words, intellectual musings, and charismatic speech are empty without the love of Christ; in fact, they can be rather annoying! I don’t know anyone that wants to listen to clanging gongs and clashing cymbals. We can say all the right things, but when we miss love, we miss Jesus.
"WE CAN SAY ALL THE RIGHT THINGS, BUT WHEN WE MISS LOVE, WE MISS JESUS."
LORD, you are love. Thank you for being the perfect example of love. Please forgive me for using my words to boast in my wisdom and not yours. Help me to discern when my speech is not genuine and glorifying you. Don’t let me be empty but let your love be the natural overflow of my heart towards others.