I walked by a store the other day that had a large sign in the window that said, “Love is Love is Love.” I get what they are trying to say, but it’s not true. Love is applied to many things, but I don’t love ice cream the way I love my wife. As Christians, we need to be motivated by love in our actions. That love must be based on grace and truth with no conditions attached. That might look different from the love others demonstrate.
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.
Motivated by Love
Everything that we do as Christians must be motivated by love. It’s tempting to be the expert or that go-to person. It is even tempting to be perceived as the spiritual giant, but it is meaningless if we aren’t motivated by love. Paul says that we are a clanging cymbal that annoys everyone. Start with love and if God chooses to use you as an expert, stay humble and do it out of love.
It’s All About Love
Now we get to the “Love” chapter. If anyone knows anything about 1 Corinthians, it is this chapter. Most people don’t know much about the book except for this section. On its own, there is some excellent stuff to use for weddings. Couples can use this as a guide for their relationship.
Paul is correcting the Corinthian church because they were using the gifts, but they were a very judgmental and critical church. There was no love in the people. We can have all the gifts, but if there is no love in our hearts, then it is meaningless. We can even be charitable and give to the poor and do it without love. Paul is talking about a different kind of love. He is talking about Agape love or Godly love. This type of love is unconditional, forgiving, and kind. It looks at people as God does, without selfish interest. Spiritual gifts are essential, but love must be the source of all of our actions.