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.
I've known some very gifted people in my life time. They have wonderful natural talent and everything they do seems to be successful. Yet, according to these verses without love, all the talent in the world means nothing. The gifts mentioned in these verses are mostly external. Speaking in tongues,
prophecy, and faith that reveals itself in an outward action are all 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 does remind me that as wives and mothers it 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
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!