26 February 2014
One of my favourite and often re-called verses in the bible is in 1 Corinthians 1:13:
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
Sometimes in Christian circles there is a competition or pressure to be holier than others. We hear of awesome testimonies of faith and miracles and wonder what we are doing about our lives for God.
This verse reminds me that before i set out to do anything for God, before i plan, i must ask God to increase my love for Him and for others and to train me to focus on learning to love others through acts of service rather than loving the act of service itself.
Love is not easy to define and encompasses so many things. But in the context of this verse, i believe it can also simply mean thinking less about how good i look and feel when i do something and thinking more about the other person feels by receiving it.
There can be many things about living a Christian lifestyle which i can do more of and do better at, but the ultimate aim and goal is perhaps not to be a doer of things but a lover of people.
It’s telling me to stop and ask myself – why? Why am i doing this? I do not think it needs to be taken to the other extreme whereby i feel that i can only act when i feel loving. Sometimes we may not feel like doing something for someone, but when we do, it may be that a seed of love is planted both in our heart and the other person’s heart. Over time, i believe the seeds of love should grow. But if my acts were done for selfish ambition, i will not be sowing any seeds of love and it will not be producing fruits of love in my life. I suppose then, it’s ok not to always feel loving but still do loving things (and in fact, committing to do so may produce fruits of love over time), but it is meaningless to do “loving things” out of selfish gain or vanity.
Heavenly Father, you are the source of all love. All that is pure, holy, righteous and glorious. I ask that You will teach me the way of love and guide me in forsaking the selfishness and vanity. I ask that you help me to love the person in front of me, one at a time, to go slow and to go deeper. Let me draw my source of love from You, let Your endless love flow through my daily thoughts and into my heart every night as i sleep.