093. What’s the Quickest Way to Become Spiritually Useless?

18 Mar, 2013

There’s a ton of things that are awesome and you take out one element and it becomes useless?  Like taking out an engine out of a Ferrari, or taking out the battery from your smartphone, or taking bacon out of a salad.

It’s the same thing with our spiritual lives. There’s one super quick, efficient way to completely make all that you spiritually do, all your ministries, all your effort, completely useless.  Just take out one element. Love.

1CO 13:1 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. [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 have not love, I am nothing. [3] If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Now you might say, “Well, duh.  Of course.”  But is that how we live our lives? Is that what is reflected in our families and relationships? When our kids or spouse are annoying, is the first thing that pops into our head is, “I will correct them in love.”  I dunno about you, but the first thing that pops in my head is, “I’m right.  And you’re stupid.”

If we don’t speak in love, correct in love, discipline in love, then we are not ministering to our family. If we don’t love our classmates or co-workers, we cannot minister to them. According to the Bible, we are a clanging cymbal.  We’re noise.

To minister, we have to be love, we have to embody love. And one of the hardest things to do is embody love when your spouse is yelling at you for something you’re pretty sure you didn’t do and can reasonably blame the kids for because they’re not around to contradict you. How much love do we want to show when our kids are talking back to us? That’s why the passage continues on and says…

1CO 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. [5] It is not rude, 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.

So just wait about two minutes till after you’re done reading this, and you’ll start talking to your spouse, kids or parents, and they’ll for sure be short with you or do something dum. 

It is possible for you to not raise your voice?  Is it possible for you to correct them in a loving manner? When you come home, can you greet everyone with love in mind?  When you do this dishes, is it out of love?

So what do we do?  

Love isn’t something you just decide to have.  It’s a long slow process. But there are two practical things you can do to intentionally grow love.

1.  Make sure you add praying for a loving heart into your daily prayer.

2. Understand God’s love more so you can in turn love more…  Which means being devoted to his Word because only when we understand the depths of his love for us despite our sin, will we be able to in turn love our fellow sinners more.

Love is something that we don’t just have, it’s something we grow.  It’s a type of lens that we see other people through hopefully more and more over time.


1CO 13:1 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. [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 have not love, I am nothing. [3] If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Take Time To Pray: Pray that you can treat your family (or whoever) in love today so as to minister to them.

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