“If 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. 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. 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.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
I assume you have hopeful expectations for good things in 2018. Sure, hardships await in some measure. But I hope you anticipate some big things, some great things. With God, all things are possible!
Yet, no matter what we say, accomplish or give in 2018, without love, it amounts to noise. Without love, I sound like “gong and clang” when I speak (ask Sue). My efforts and works are meaningless, no matter how grand.
In chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians, we’re told that love is not only essential, but it is the ultimate Christian value. It never fails (quits or ends) (v. 8). Even faith and hope don’t measure up to the greatness of love (v. 13). This chapter provides God’s criteria to evaluate our love life, from which I’ve created a checklist. This checklist is worth referring to occasionally to help us hear what we really sound like when we think we’re saying, “I love you.”
|“I Love You…”
||“Gong, Clang, Gong…”|
|□ I’m Patient with you||□ I’m Angry & Irritable with you|
|□ I’m Kind to you||□ I’m Rude & Dishonor you|
|□ I Delight in Truthfulness||□ I Delight in Wrong-doing|
|□ I Always Protect (on your Side)||□ I’m Boastful (Protect me)|
|□ I Always Trust (Give you Benefit of Doubt)||□ I’m Arrogant (Benefit goes to me)|
|□ I Always Hope (Want the Best for you)||□ I’m Envious (Want Best for me)|
|□ I Always Persevere (in all your Failings)||□ I’m Resentful & Unforgiving|
|□ I Endure All for You (Prefer you over me)||□ I’m Selfish (Prefer me over you)|
I hope 2018 will be a year of saying, doing and gaining great things for you and your family.