“And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all the mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:1-3
We sometimes, if not most of the time, fall into the trap of performance.
Religion says: “DO.”
Do this, you’ll get that.
Do this, and you’ll save yourself from death.
We are told time and time again that we, wretched as we are, are saved by grace through faith.
And that is NOT from ourselves.
JESUS says: “DONE.”
It is done.
Everything has already been paid for.
And yet we do this every now and then: We FORGET.
We forget that it is He who works in US to will and to act according to His good purpose.
He saved us.
He called us.
He enables us.
He moves us.
He carries us.
His love compels us.
And so, if we could do anything, He reminds us to do nothing else but this: LOVE.
We speak in tongues and do it out of love.
We prophesy and do it out of love.
We serve in church and do it out of love.
We choose to overlook wrongs and do it out of love.
We keep the faith and do it out of love.
We give to the poor and do it out of love.
What the world calls a sacrifice we call service and we do it out of love.
And we love not because we NEED to but because we WANT to, because we HAVE to.
When we feel the NEED to love, we fall into the trap yet again.
But when we love because we WANT to share what overflows in us; because we HAVE to or our hearts will explode; because we have tasted and seen that He is good and because He gives freely and we can so easily get what we give, it is then that we genuinely, truly, wholeheartedly love.
And then we’ll stop counting how many songs we were able to sing,
…how many times we had to wake up early to serve in church,
…how many people we had to talk to and spend time with,
…how many hours we spent praying for people or reading the Bible,
…how long we were able to keep giving our tithes and, when our budget (and our hearts permit us) our offering.
And we’ll stop striving to earn LOVE because we are THRIVING in his LOVE.
We do the things we do because we LOVE.
And we LOVE because we know we are LOVED by the One who is LOVE Himself.