Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. - 1Corinthians 13:1
I’m sure we have all come across people that have knowledge and they even act upon that knowledge. They help the needy and the poor. They know the laws and can probably recite them. They are eager to die for Jesus. But a lot like Peter and the disciples after him proclaimed:
Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples. (Matthew 26:35)
Sometimes we miss the point. We miss the foundational reason for doing whatever we do. In reality all of us have probably fallen for this. We like to do stuff that makes us feel like we have a purpose. We can start out with all the best intentions but somewhere along the line we get more caught up in the physical doing than the spiritual being in constant communion with God.
The repeated taglines begin to come across as regurgitated words that have absolutely no value to anyone on a personal level. And our God is a personal God. He cares about the one person. He would leave 99 to go rescue the one. It’s easy to forget this in the busyness of life.
If we want to love deeply there is difficult inner work to be done on postures of the heart and attitudes of the mind. I don’t want to hesitate to love others deeply.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1Corinthians 13:4)
The reality is, love can be difficult. I may suffer rejection, hurt feelings, or the loss of the one I bestowed my love upon. I don’t always want to be kind. Sometimes I do envy and seek my own way.
To love deeply I am learning that you are opening yourself up to being denied, rejected, and lost when they are gone. But these difficulties make my love even more fruitful. If I plow up ground, bend down low and place seeds inside rows of soil I have to ask myself whether it is bitterness or the seeds of love that I am planting. Lest I too become nothing but a clanging cymbal full of all the right words and all the right knowledge but love remains elusive.