by Pastor Mark Jordan
“If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1, NIV)
We are looking at ways to love our neighbor this week. Yesterday we considered loving others as we love ourselves and considered the Golden Rule by treating others how we want to be treated. As we dig down into that this week, I want to consider how we love others by our words.
Today’s verse calls us to consider how we use our words. The Apostle Paul wrote that regardless of how many words we know, or how eloquently we use them, if we cannot do so with love, all we do is make noise. I find it interesting that the instruments referenced are gongs and cymbals. Those instruments are in the percussion family, meaning they must be struck in order to make their noise, which is loud. Not only are they loud, they reverberate for quite a while. This provides a potent illustration. If your words are not used to share love, they are nothing more than noise that reverberates far beyond the moment they are uttered.
Think about a time someone said something hurtful to you. It sticks with you, doesn’t it? You are likely no longer able to see that person in the same way as before. It’s painful. We must, therefore, be very careful with how we use our words. We need to learn to show our love by the things we say. Consider the wisdom found in James 3:10, “Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way! (CEB)”
Your words matter. May their sound be music to someone’s ear. May their reverberations be encouragement to the soul. Show your love for your neighbor by what you say.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for giving me your Word in Jesus Christ. Forgive me for the times I use my words to curse instead of bless. By the power and presence of your Holy Spirit, help my words reverberate love in people’s lives. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.