“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 clanging cymbal.” I Corinthians 13:1 NLT
Knowledge and talent separate from love are annoying. A person impressed with themselves comes across like a discordant violin or as the Scriptures say – a “noisy”…”clanging” sound. It is the opposite of pleasant. We wince inwardly when they start talking.
“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.” I Corinthians 13:2 NLT
The person of faith – possessing all spiritual giftedness, yet lacking in love adds up to someone who has no value for the cause of Christ. All of these gifts – insight, prophecy, knowledge and faith mean nothing unless we expend them for the uplifting and faith-building of others.
“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.” I Corinthians 13:3 NLT
God’s chief concern is not our sacrifice – He wants our obedience (I Samuel 15:22). This is the true test of our love for God.
We can work ourselves into the state of burn out, but if we do, we’ve missed the boat. What the Lord puts before us to do we are to perform from an attitude of love. The needs will never let up. Does God appreciate a good work ethic? Absolutely! (II Thessalonians 3:10) But ‘hard work’ is not the acid test. The acid test is love.
Discovering our spiritual gifts, developing our spiritual gifts – using our spiritual gifts has absolutely no value unless these things are done with a focus, mindset and attitude of love.