Tuesday 28July09 1 Corinthians 13: 1 - 13NIV
and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. v2
This morning I read a letter written by a grandfather to a newspaper editor expressing his dismay at being treated rudely by a teacher at his grandson's school.
He had been asked to go to the school to fetch his grandson home because the child had fallen ill from food poisoning. At the school office, he was required to sign some papers. The teacher who attended to the procedure refused to talk to him, neither replying his greetings nor acknowledging him when he said, "Thank you" before leaving.
In his own words, this grandfather deplored the rudeness of that teacher,
"Not once during the whole procedure did he look me in the face. His movements and attitude throughout were perfunctory and he behaved as if I had the audacity to impinge on his peace and privacy."
It appears that whatever education and training that this teacher has undergone, and whatever experience and knowledge that he has acquired, are all in vain: for he doesn't have any kindness in his heart. Without the goodwill and good manners arising out of a kind heart, this teacher has become worthless. In the sight of pupils and parents alike, he is nothing.
Similarly, the apostle Paul writes in verses 1 - 3 that he would be nothing if he had no love in his heart.
Without God's love, it wouldn't have mattered if Paul could speak in all the languages of men and angels. Without love, it wouldn't have meant anything if he had all the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of all the mysteries of this world.
Nor would it have mattered at all if Paul had such great faith that he could move mountains. And even if he had given away all his possessions to the poor, including giving up his own body to be burned, Paul said of himself, without love, "I am nothing"
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. v.4-7
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us be concerned about having God's love in our hearts. It is that which matters most. Let us beware, lest we fall into the same error as the rude school-teacher who had no kindness in his heart.
If I have not the love of God, I am nothing.