“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
I’ve thought a lot about this passage lately.
I’m often driven to do all the “right” things–to make sure the homework gets done, to keep the home swept, to present myself a certain way to the world, to say the thing that’s calming and non-inflammatory, to be perfect.
But it’s a trap.
I can have all the gifts. I can have all the material possessions. My children can be “well-behaved angels,” and we may keep the fast rigorously in the eyes of others. I could be “perfect,” in the eyes of others.
But none of it matters. Not one little bit.
Not if I’m loveless, since it means I’m obsessed with my appearance.
Not at all if I’m loveless, because it means I’m paying lip-service to my family.
Never if I’m loveless, because then I’m totally missing the point.
I can tell you this: to seek to have love above all else–this is the hardest, most difficult thing, because there are so many other things to chase. Chase the right thing. Chase the love of God.