Monday, February 14, 2011

Love: Value-Changer

“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 NIV

In our society we associate superiority with things like knowledge, faith, service, possessions and giftedness.  These are all great things to have because they provide us with a greater capacity to perform.  Performance matter and we see the reward we get from them as the end.  And yet based on these verses there is something very crucial in the process that makes all our endeavors and giftedness either count or not.   Love is the ingredient that makes our performances a pleasing music instead of annoying noise to God and those around us.

What is love anyway?  The love as mentioned in the verse above is not the emotion that causes you to give up everything you have in order to get what you desire.  For example I give flowers to my friend so that she'll think I'm a generous person.  To give in order to get something in return is love of self.   Love is giving up something that is of value to you for the pleasure and glorification of the one we love without conditions.  It is like changing the price tag of the one we love to be greater than the treasure that we are giving up. God is the perfect example of love.  When He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us, He pulled off our clearance-sale-tag (appropriate for detestable sinners) to a price tag that is greater than the value placed on His only Son with whom He is well-pleased.  Imagine sending your own son to die so that a murderous, moneyless and slandering pagan would be allowed to come live a good life with you in your own house.  God sacrificed His Son so that we, the peoples of the world would be saved and be qualified to partake of eternal life of joy and abundance with Him.  That is love.  Love is the thought that compels the heart to put self aside for the sake of holding someone in high regard.   That is what God meant when He said, "Love your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength... and love your neighbor as you love yourself." (Lk. 10:27) When we love we raise our brother's value over our comfort and security; in return love in our actions makes us of value in the eyes of the true judge - God.

We can have all the knowledge, faith, and works but if we do not have love we are nothing... It's time to rethink of love.

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