“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NLT)
This verse is huge for me. It’s a great reminder of how much God values love and how he could give a rip about what we do if love isn’t the motivator or result.
You could be the most devout church goer in town, but if you treat others like crap Mon.-Sat., you’re pretty much wasting your time. You could be the CEO of a huge corporation and rake in the cash, but if you’re a cheat and unfair, you’re pretty much wasting your time. You could be super generous, devoting your time to volunteer, but if you’re not loving to others, you’re pretty much wasting your time. You see, God isn’t interested in the same stuff that we’re interested in. The trophies and status symbols that our culture values are garbage to him. He’s interested in eternity. He’s interested in life change. He’s interested in our character. He’s interested in us being light when all else is dark around us. He’s interested in stuff that will last, not stuff that is temporary.
God has given us relationships such as family, neighbors, enemies and difficult people for a reason…..to learn what love is….what HIS love is. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will never fully understand the extent of God’s love or Jesus’s sacrifice. I will never fully understand the grace given to me daily, when I totally don’t deserve it. I DO understand one thing though….I’m grateful for it and BECAUSE I’m grateful for it, my natural desire is to SHARE it with others. I want others to experience the same love that I’ve received. I want folks to feel the rush of loving others because amidst that sharing of love, God is there, waiting with a glowing smile and a big ‘ol bag of life change with our name on it. That’s the good stuff right there.
You know what though? We don’t HAVE to love at all. We are given the choice to be selfish or to be selfless because that’s what love is all about….choice. Friends, I sure hope you CHOOSE love, you CHOOSE Jesus, you CHOOSE that solid peace that goes beyond all understanding.
At my funeral, I don’t want people to talk about how nice my yard was or what kind of car I drove or how many hours at the office I put in per week…..I want them to talk about how I loved. I want them to talk about how I cared. I want them to talk about my role as a husband and as a father and how I took that honor seriously. I want them to talk about Jesus and how He reflected Himself through me, even it was just a little bit.
Here’s the thing, love can be intoxicating to receive and terrifying to give at times, I get it. There’s risk involved, it’s true. God wants us to love anyways because maybe, just maybe, your smile or handshake or good gesture could alter the path of someone’s life. I think that’s definitely worth the risk, don’t you? Go get ’em!