If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1 NABRE
In the quoted verse we have the opening to Paul’s great exhortation on faith, hope and love. He begins by saying even if he could speak every human language and angelically, speaking means nothing without love. Paul is suggesting he (and we) speak all the languages of humanity, and the language of angels, which would seem a fantastic ability. Imagine being able to speak to every human you meet, no matter their origin or language. Then imagine to be able to speak like an angel, one who praises and sings to God all day long. Angels are the bearers of heavenly messages, to and from God. It would be a great honor to speak for God as a messenger. Being able to do either of these would be fantastic, to do both unimaginable. Yet, Paul writes if we speak without love, we are a gong or a clashing cymbal. The metaphor is we are just making loud unpleasant sounds, jarring noise received more in horror than with any kind of appreciation. To speak in tongues without love for Paul is meaningless and in fact borders on annoying. We know this, if we are loved we listen to every word of the person speaking. Without love we barely care what they have to say.
We know how to speak to people with love because we know when we are spoken to with love. Loving others means we want them to know their beauty, we want to speak to them as God would speak to them, we want them to know through our expression that they are deeply loved. When we speak with love, we raise up the other, as Christ raises up each of us through His love. This is the only reason to speak to others, so they may know their love in Christ.
Are you aware of how you speak to others? How do you express Christ’s love for others?When we speak with love, we raise up the other, as Christ raises up each of us through His love. This is the only reason to speak to others, so they may know their love in Christ. Click To Tweet
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