Faith isn’t enough.
Ya’ll I didn’t say it.
God did in a powerful set of verses in Corinthians.
Here’s the gist: We can preach like Billy Graham. Dig wells in Africa. Work like crazy to rescue sex trafficking victims. Speak in tongues. Be a martyr. Give away everything we own to the poor. And have the kind of faith that moves mountains. But……
BUT if we don’t have love there’s no gain whatsoever.
One might assume all those really great things is the equivalent of love. Why would you give away everything you own if it wasn’t fueled by love right? Or become a martyr – who would do that if they didn’t have love for God and others. But we must not assume love is the same thing as service, faith or hard humanitarian work.
Here’s how God defines love in I Corinthians 13.
It’s patient. (letting go of the sighs, loud voice and rolling eyes when repeating something you already said ten times to your child.)
It’s Kind. (offering to help someone you don’t know. others first – me last.)
Love isn’t envious. (not becoming distant to a friend you once were close to but not anymore because you’re jealous of her: house, kids, husband, income, etc.)
Doesn’t boast. (doesn’t brag about that promotion or latest accomplishment to co-workers and friends.)
It’s not proud. (doest brag about that promotion or latest accomplishment – inside your mind and heart.)
Love is not rude. (doesn’t say, “your service stinks here – where’s your boss?” it offers grace instead. Maybe you don’t return as a customer but love isn’t a rude customer.)
It’s not self-seeking. (doesn’t approach life saying, “what can I get out of this?”)
Or easily angered. (honking at the lady in front of you who is still sitting at the green light)
It doesn’t keep score – (“that’s the 100th time he left his clothes on the floor”)
It doesn’t delight in evil (“well they got what they deserved!”)
Love never fails. (we succeed every time we love the way Jesus loves.)
So yeah, let’s keep digging wells, rescuing sex slaves, giving to the poor, preaching and having faith that God can do anything. But let’s remember that God is most interested in us loving well.
I have circled four items on God’s love list that I need his help with the most. Check yourself and see where you’re coming up short. And ask God for his help and watch how you transform and grow in loving others well.