Be Wise about Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

What is the point of a spiritual gift? While this question may excite some into discussion and make others uncomfortable it is an important thing to consider. Why does God give us anything? The people of Corinth thought that the gifts they had received were for their own benefit, their own self-gratification. They believed those more “blessed” were more important and those that weren’t were put down and treated as lesser people.

The apostle Paul however when addressing the Corinthians puts them all in their place.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not 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 have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  1 Corinthians 13:1-3

The apostle Paul makes it clear to us that if we do not use what we have (whether great or small) in love for others but instead use it for ourselves we are nothing. If we put ourselves ahead of others and live for our own needs and status, we are nothing. If we act out of a sense of self-importance and look down on others, we are nothing. Love for others is what makes these “gifts” important and useful.

The great thing about this is that it means everyone has a use in God’s kingdom as everyone can love! It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t have, your skills and abilities, but whether you are willing to love others just as Christ has loved us. Love is what matters most in Christian service, love for God and love for others.

Tim