1 Though I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Do I Have Charity?
I love the KJV rendering of verse 2, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” When I hear the word charity, it reminds me of giving to someone who is utterly unable to help themselves. I also think of someone who has no reason to expect help from another. That is what God does for us. God loves us when we are completely undeserving and unable to help ourselves. The Bible describes this love as “the love of God towards man. Agape.” It also means, “love going forth from your [God’s] soul and taking up its abode as it were in ours,” Blue Letter Bible. This is how God loves you. Take chapter 13 very personally. He loves you not because you deserve it, earned it, or chose it.
Why Does He Love Me?
He loves you because He created you before the foundation of the earth, knowing all that would happen in your life. He chose you because His very nature is love. In her study Planted, A guided Study to Produce a Peace-FIlled Life in an Anxiety-Filled World, author Colette Schaffer says the “The Kingdom of God, in which we reside, operates BY faith IN love or through love. Because we cannot tangibly see the Kingdom for now, we must receive it and live in it by faith…. This goes back to believing His love for us,” (p.21).
Believe it. God is love, and He loves you (1 John 4:16).
He created you in His image. While you still draw breath, He has important things for you to do. One of those things is loving others. Not just in word, but deed also. As the scripture says, words are only noise when they are not accompanied by loving acts of charity and kindness. Think of how a gong sounds or a pair of crashing cymbals. Taken out of the context of the rest of the instruments, they vibrate painfully and ring in our ears. That is how our words can sound to others when they are not couched in the language of God’s love.
Because you are deeply loved, you can deeply love others. Don’t worry; you won’t run out. God has given you an unlimited supply of His love. You can love greatly because you are greatly loved. Amen.
Be loved, Beloved!
Day 2 Journal Activities
- I am captivated by the above definition of love: “love going forth from Your [God’s] soul and taking up its abode as it were in ours,” Write this in your journal and meditate on it. How is God speaking to you about this definition?
- Have your words been ringing softly or harshly in others’ ears? Is there anything you need to change so your words ring with charity (love)?
- Feel free to share any thoughts/insights in the comments. We’d love to hear what’s on your mind.