1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1)
We have started a new series at my church called Love. 1 Corinthians 13 is considered the “Love” chapter. I knew 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 sort of. I think it was read at my first wedding.
My pastor said yesterday,
“You have to know what LOVE IS NOT in order to know what LOVE is.” –Matt Fry
Think about how many marriages could be saved, relationships mended, children encouraged if we knew what LOVE was not.
I am a speaker. I love to talk and tell stories. I was 4 when I sang “My Favorite Things” in preschool and wore the pink dress with little white raised polka-dots my grandmother made. My first taste of performing. People smiled and they clapped. I was hooked.
I’ve performed throughout my life. Some good, some well…we tried. The words I spoke were words someone else had written for a character. I could bring them to life, but they weren’t MY words. Perhaps it was entertaining. Perhaps the lines I parrotted made people laugh, or cry, or even ponder an idea…but they weren’t MY words.
Now when I speak, whether it’s from the stage or at my kitchen table I speak out of love. They are MY words, in a way. They are the words God lays on my heart to say. They are words that I can love because they are words I have learned due to my past and the mistakes I have made. The words that I speak now, if they are not being said to build up or encourage, the noise that I hear flowing from my mouth is very much like a clanging of cymbals.
Cymbals clang because the person welding them does not know how to use them. Words clang (hurt, tear down, destroy) because the person speaking them does not know how to use them.
Words are powerful. Words can be weapons. Words can make music. Words can destroy. Words can heal. How do you use your words? How do you add to the lives of those around you with your words? Do you speak with words wrapped in love to your husband or wife? Do you add to or take away from your children by the words that you speak? Do your friends come to your for advice because they trust your words will be spoken in love and truth.
Or…do you speak truth, and speak it loudly…but the words, they are harsh, hurtful, and even if they are true, they are not spoken with love and so they hurt, they wound, or even destroy. You might be right with what you are saying, but HOW are you saying it?????
Are you a clanging cymbal? Or do your words add to the music of someone’s life?
Pastor Matt challenged us to do 4 things this week:
1. Read 1 Corinthians 13
2. Start The Love Revolution by Joyce Meyer
3. Perform random acts of kindness throughout the week. (This is a website I found with some great ideas.)
4. Join a connect group. (Connect groups or small groups have just started at most churches, find one that speaks to you and dive in!)
It’s time we all stopped being a clanging cymbal and used our words to speak love into the lives of those around us and into our own lives. What random acts of kindness will you perform this week. Ask God to show you one thing, one person that you can impact in love each day.