Psalm 137-139 1 Corinthians 13
“I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NCV)
How do we measure the strength of someone’s faith? Sometimes it seems like when Christians get together they don’t actually brag, of course, that would be wrong. They do mention stories of their triumphs in the faith in witnessing to people or service to those less fortunate. They’ll always end with some kind of comment about how blessed they were to be able to serve God in this way. These humble brags fail to do is show their love. Paul would ask a very simple question: “Where is the love?” Without that love, it doesn’t matter what you do.
When Jesus set the standard for Christians He told His disciples that people would know they were His disciples by their love for one another. We like to look at accomplishments and doing great things for God. We look at theological correctness, and people who show great understanding of Scriptures: do they believe the right thing? Do they say the right words? Do they hate the right people? You know, those people who are opposed to what we believe in. Jesus never gave us that option. Paul didn’t either. No matter what we do, if we are living without love, if we’re not showing God’s love, it’s nothing. I can’t help but wonder if those people who do great things for God, but don’t have love are the ones who came to Jesus only to be turned away by the words, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” If you want to live by Jesus’s measure of a Christian, you gotta love other people. Paul reminds us that it doesn’t matter how many or how great your spiritual gifts may be, if you don’t have love all those things are worthless. The spiritual gifts are important, but a church will grow far more when people know that they’re loved than it will with the greatest manifestation of spiritual gifts. So, practice the greatest spiritual quality of all and love people – especially the ones that are hard to love.
In a world that’s searching for love in all the wrong places, Lord, use me to show Your love to others. Help me to love those the world shuns. Help me to love those who can’t love themselves so that they can see their worth in Your eyes.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.