Gifts in Love

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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 mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a 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 13 is known as the love chapter.  It is very commonly recited in weddings.  The first three verses are often overlooked but they are the key that ties spiritual gifts to the perfect love that Paul writes about.

In short, Paul says that we can do as many great things as we want but if we do it without love it is useless.  The Pharisees did what they believed were the right things to do but they did it out of ritual and guilt.  They confused these things with a love for God.

Jesus did say that if we love him we will obey his commands in John 14:15 but obeying does not mean that we love him.  Fortunately we should not have difficulty using our gifts in love because God has made us naturally inclined to want to use them.

If you have a gift of singing, it should be a joy for you to use it.  If your gift is counseling it should be natural for you to offer sound advice to someone.  Whatever your gift is, you’ll probably enjoy using it for the Lord.

On the flip side, when we’re not working within the areas that we’re gifted, it may be a struggle or even unpleasant to serve.  If this is the case maybe it is time to look in another direction and try to find something closer to where you’re gifted.  You’ll find it is much easier to work in love when you do so.

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