1 If I make use of the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am like sounding brass, or a loud-tongued bell.
So often, we find that some charismatic Christians will become confrontational about the speaking in tongues, telling those with other gifts that they don’t have the Holy Spirit. In doing so, they prove that they don’t have His Spirit themselves, as they are unfairly judgemental and surely not acting in a spirit of loving kindness.
2 And if I have a prophet’s power, and have knowledge of all secret things; and if I have all faith, by which mountains may be moved from their place, but have not love, I am nothing.
What does it help to have all the prophetic wisdom and then be devoid of His Love? The result is just another source of irritating noise.
3 And if I give all my goods to the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it is of no profit to me.
To be a giver and a sharer is really something commendable, but does it come at a price? The moment that it takes away liberty, freedom, dignity from the recipient, the deed is nullified. Do it in such a way that the one at the receiving end never feels compromised. Don’t send emotional bills. They may become bad debt.
4 Love is never tired of waiting; love is kind; love has no envy; love has no high opinion of itself, love has no pride;
My wife and I have been waiting on the Lord for something since 1998. If ever someone was being taught patience, this must be it. During this process, like Job, we had everything taken away from us. We had to remain humble and kind….not always that easy. Others had given up after waiting just a year or so; waiting is too much effort to have one’s faith really tested.
5 Love’s ways are ever fair, it takes no thought for itself; it is not quickly made angry, it takes no account of evil;
A sharp tongue, sometimes selfishly so, has ended many marriages and relationships, friendships and also careers. Being critical of others is a sure sign of the absence of natural love, a disqualification for being a marriage partner. My wife and I have been married very happily for thirty years and hardly ever a harsh word. I don’t jump on her because she cannot replace a cap, be it the toothpaste or shampoo, the ketchup or the jam. And she just never tires of me spreading reading material, flash drives, USB cables and computer paraphernalia all around me.
6 It takes no pleasure in wrongdoing, but has joy in what is true;
Love won’t enter into a contract with sin, it won’t lust after someone outside of marriage, or covet the neighbour’s brand new Lexus. Love will want to walk a straight path as God is Love.
7 Love forgives everything. Love is always trusting, and always hoping, and never gives up.
Love forgives everything. Did you make a wrong turn in traffic? Love forgives that. Did you burn the toast? Love forgives that. Did you spill tea on the carpet? Love forgives that. Did you forget to close a window or take out the trash? Love forgives that. When we remind others of every little mistake they make, we reveal our own hearts to be devoid of His Love. If He cannot entrust colleagues or friends to us, how can He trust us with a spouse or children? Someone who nags all the time and point fingers, simply lack His Spirit. The Bible teaches that.
8 Love never ends. The gift of speaking words from God will end. The gift of speaking in different tongues or languages will stop. The gift of knowing many things will end.
Tongues will stop
Prophecies will end
Love will last into all eternity.
If our friend has done something wrong, remain silent and forgive if it isn’t something really, really crucial. Be the least, just shut up and let that person be, as such is grace, the Product of Love. This really is the acid test for true Christianity.
A burning question:
How does your life measure up in terms of love? How tolerant are you of others?
With the Black Eyed Peas, I sing a sad song:
“Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’
Where is the love (Love)”