“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 12-13 MSG)
This passage just keeps going on around and around in my head. And it’s so true, we are nothing without love. The love of Jesus.
I felt the urge to do some paraphrasing…let’s see what happens.
Even if I am educated, and don’t have love, I am just a bag of wind.
Even if I can quote scripture and speak truth, but don’t have love, I’m nothing.
Even if I have money, and give it away, and don’t have love, I am still going nowhere.
Even if I look good, have status, or tight abs, and don’t have love, none of it matters one bit. After all, it is just temporary, and doesn’t bring the love of Christ to anyone.
Love isn’t jealous. Love isn’t proud. Love doesn’t lose its temper. Love doesn’t keep score. Love cares, encourages, empathizes, and gives of itself generously.
Without this love, we are blind. We can’t see ourselves, or others, the way that Jesus does. His love, His eyes, His heart…that’s who we are called to be.
What else matters?