Pastor Steve VanAmburg
I Corinthians 13: 1 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. 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. . . . 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
This well-known Scripture is read at many a wedding. It describes what love looks like. I wonder how many married couples go back to this Scripture when their homes need more love. Anyway, I grew up playing the trumpet from the 4th grade on. I was never that great, I was OK and I’m fine with that. I did play for years in Middle School bands and High School bands, etc. My Dad used to tell my Mom, make sure he does his practicing before I get home. And if you’ve ever heard young people “jam out” or beat on drums or clang cymbals in a band room, you know it can be loud. Some might call it music, but it’s mostly just “noise.”
Sometimes we go around and tell people we love them, but is it a bunch of noise? (see verse 1) We work on our spiritual gifts and ministries, but how much love is really conveyed to those around us. We tell people we love them, but how kind and patient are we with those same people when they push us to our limits. We love that baby until he or she keeps us up all night crying. We love that co-worker until they don’t do something we expect them to do. It is so easy to be short with those people and especially with our spouses and children.
Recently I heard stories of people who had experienced tremendous love by simple acts of kindness. One shared how they were moving many years ago and it was just he and his wife moving the furniture. They had just finished graduate school. The sofa was wedged in the doorway and the husband couldn’t move it. Then surprisingly, a family from their church showed up and helped them get the sofa through the doorway and finish loading the truck.
Another couple told a similar story of how they were set to move a house of furniture to their new house by themselves. Just before the move the husband hurt his back and couldn’t do any lifting. The wife, who was a teacher, shared how her co-workers took the time to help them move (it was a holiday for the teachers) and many of their spouses took the day off of work to help them move. She felt very blessed by their demonstrations of love.
Then recently my son shared a very heartwarming story. He just started a new job in Virginia and he’s accumulating Paid Time Off (PTO). He’s expecting his 2nd child very soon. Not only did his co-workers throw him 2 baby showers, but one co-worker got permission to donate a week of her PTO to him so that he could spend extra time with his baby after he is born. My son felt very loved and blessed.
These demonstrations of love are what I Corinthians 13 is talking about. So look around you. Who needs some of God’s TLC (tender loving care). It’s nice to hear the “I Love You’s” but it’s better to see it in action. Who needs those loving touches around you? Remember love is not “self-seeking,” it seeks the welfare of others. May we model God’s love today. What do you think? Share your thoughts.