“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.”
This passage comes from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. To give some context into this passage, Paul is writing a letter to the Corinthians, who at this point are being destroyed by pride in their hearts. Pride is the killer of love! Pride blinds you from seeing yourself accurately, and distorts the heart so much that it becomes useless in the tasks that it’s intended for. Paul writes this letter as a reminder that even though the Corinthians might be doing all these great things, they are doing them arrogantly and pridefully, without love. And without this love, these things are just about useless!
I think of myself as a decent mom and housewife; I make sure to keep my son happy, I try to have the house relatively clean, I serve my husband in the ways I know are most meaningful to him. Some days I look around at all the tasks that I did that day and think to myself, “I sacrificed a lot for my family today, all my work better be praised.” How selfish is that? My attitude is selfish and my heart lacks love. It’s better off if I never did those tasks because they weren’t born out of love. It’s worth nothing.
Have you ever had a teacher who didn’t love what they did? Have you ever had a teacher that absolutely loved what they did? Wouldn’t you much rather be learning from the teacher that loved their job rather from the one that didn’t? You could be doing a handful of things, and you could be gifted in lots of different ways, but doing them without love is worthless. They lose their meaning, their weight, their influence, their power, without love. When love is lacking, our motive of being selfish and prideful is exposed, exactly like the Corinthians.
The importance of love is this: love needs to be at the core of what we do. When we have love in our hearts, it radiates through every aspect of our lives. It gives meaning to our actions and gives power to our gifts. When we love in our speech and actions, it allows others to see a glimpse of God’s unending love for His children! In love, we are the vessel of God’s Message.