“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
These iconic verses are well known to many Christians, but do we really understand what they mean? Do we understand the weight of these words? No, we don’t, because if we did then life would look much different than it does now.
Forget everything else for a second. Forget the 27 other articles that we have read so far this month. Forget all that you have been working on this month. Forget all of that for a second.
Do you realize that we could execute all of these habits perfectly but if we do not have love, it is meaningless? You could read your Bible every day, pray often, serve in the local church, and so on, but without love none of it matters.
Here is how this love thing works, though—we cannot do it. God loves us unconditionally (See Bri’s article “The Perfect Love”), but when we try to love Him in return we fail miserably. As Francis Chan states in a quote that has stuck with me for years:
“The fact is, I need God to help me love God. And if I need His help to love Him, a perfect being, I definitely need His help to love other, fault-filled humans.” – Crazy Love, pg. 102
This is the sad truth that this is our predicament. However, this truth is not as sad as it may seem—it has been ordained by God for it to be so. It is this way so that we cannot boast in ourselves or our accomplishments in loving one another, but so that we can look to God and say and believe and know that He is the reason for all our love. Any love that we have is for Him and from Him.
This is a time that I want to take to just let you do a serious heart check. Very serious. Because if you do not take the time to do this now, then it may be nothing else that you do will have any significance. For without love, everything you do, say, think—it’s meaningless.
Pray. Evaluate yourself in light of God’s word. Search your heart—are you doing this for love or because of some other motivation. Pray some more.