“If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise.” (I Corinthians 13: 1, Living Bible)
Paul was a gifted speaker, from what I can surmise. He addressed many people from all over with his message of the Christ. He wrote letters to churches that now comprise a good portion of the Bible’s New Testament. And yet, he knew that it wasn’t language that was important. It wasn’t having great mastery even as a teacher or charisma as a leader.
It was about love. If there wasn’t love behind what one was doing and sharing, it was just noise. And how much do people want to listen to noise? They might bear it for a short time, but then it only becomes a frustration, uncomfortable, something to tune out or flee from.
This spiritual love Paul was talking about is what makes our own words and works powerful, healing, blessing. If we lose sight of this love and get wrapped up in results, in our own sense of self and proving our intelligence, rightness, enlightenment, we aren’t doing anyone any good. We aren’t bringing music to the ears of those who seek it, but instead fingernails on a chalkboard.
Love means respect. Love means compassion. Love means understanding. Love means listening. Love is God, so it means humility. It means loving God and letting His Truth about us and our brothers and sisters, shine through. When we do this, we can say a lot or nothing at all, and it will be a rich blessing to all!
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