I Corinthians 13:1-3 ~
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is such a key thing in our lives, isn't it? We can be the most gifted person and can look so good on the outside to others. If you look at some of these gifts that are mentioned here, they are mostly external. Speaking in tongues, prophecy, faith that reveals itself in an outward action all are visible signs to those around us.
But even with all those wonderful gifts, we can be doing them without love. We can be doing them for show or for affirmation or pride. The thing that truly makes the difference is whether we are motivated by love.
This can be true in our own homes too. We can put on our best face for people outside the family. Yet, our husband and children know if they are truly loved by us. They know our motives. They know the "real" us that we often try to hide to outsiders.
Are we motivated by love in caring for our families? Or are we just going through the motions? Do you put together a meal each day or do the laundry or direct your children with love and joy or are you doing it out of duty?
Do we want our children to do well in school or life because we love them and want God's best for them or is some of the motivation because we want others to approve of our children or we want them to look good to the world? Would you be able to love your child the same way if they made some horrible choices in their lives? I'm not talking about approving of their choices, but would they know without a doubt that you love them?
It's hard to look at ourselves objectively sometimes. I know I always like to believe I have great motives and desires. But sometimes I am acting without love.
All of these wonderful gifts or acts do not count if we are not doing them with the right motive. Let's ask the Lord to give us a heart full of His love for our husbands, children, extended family, neighbors and church family.
Let's work hard at not being clanging cymbals!