Monday, July 7, 2014

Clanging Cymbals

I Corinthians 13:1-3 (HCSB) ~

If I speak human or angelic languages
but do not have love,
I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith
so that I can move mountains
but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I donate all my goods to feed the poor,
and if I give my body in order to boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love.  Sonnets have been written about it.  People speak the words, "I love you." all the time.  Everyone is searching for it.  And yet, many people have difficulty showing it.

The most thoughtful gestures, and the most beautiful good deeds mean absolutely nothing if  they are not done in love. 

What good is being able to communicate eloquently and yet, rip apart another person with your words or even your thoughts?  You can have multiple spiritual gifts and use them and yet, it counts as nothing if you don't love the body of Christ as you use them.  You can reach out to help those around you and spend countless hours and resources in worthwhile pursuits and it is like dust in the wind if you aren't doing it in love.

Are you looking at others through God's eyes?  Can you love even the unlovely?  Can you see the value in them, even when they make choices we disagree with?  Can you look past the ugliness, the sinfulness, and the actions and attitudes and see the pain that is causing them to act that way? 

My prayer is that I would learn to do this.  That God would give me His eyes for people.  That I would repent of sinful criticisms that pop into my head and pour out of my mouth.  I don't want to just keep my critical words to myself.  I want the Lord to teach me not to even think the critical, unkind and unloving thoughts to pop into my head.

That will only happen with love.  That will only begin when I stop being a clanging cymbal.

This week I'm thankful for blessings #2131-2141.

2131.  I finished weeding the garden.  Now I just have to maintain it.

2132.  Wild life in my backyard.

2133.  A gift of strawberries.

2134.  My husband, who can still make me laugh, after 26 years of marriage.

2135.  The fact that we live closer to my inlaws and can see them more often.

2136.  An ever-changing sky.

2137.  Stephen had a good week away and made it back safely.

2138.  All creatures, great and small.

2139.  Getting to see old friends.

2140.  Enjoying the afternoon with new friends.

and finally...

2141.  God's love which never fails.