I Corinthians 13:1 tells us what we are without love. One is a resounding gong. Surely those sweet grandbabies of mine aren’t gongs. Following is a story from Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends
Am I a Gong?
Chopsticks! I hate hearing those kids play chopsticks on the piano! Over and over they play it because they don’t know any other music. It’s not a bad tune. When you play both parts, it even has a little harmony to it. It’s just that they play it again and again as if everyone were enjoying a fine performance.
This is what I think of when I read in I Corinthians 13. If we don’t have love, we’re playing chopsticks over and over again—and thinking everyone is enjoying it. We’re like a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
We have a set of presently unused percussion instruments at our church. After the service, children bang on them until told to stop.
Do we go about our measured, repetitious lives like a sounding gong—making a lot of noise and motions, but with not much lasting results? We may even irritate a few onlookers along the way.
The Bible says we’re nothing if we don’t have the gift of love—even if we have mountain-moving faith. If we give our possessions and even our bodies to be burned and we don’t practice love, we gain nothing.
Love is kind. Am I kind to those who are not kind back? Even sinners know how to be nice to people who are nice to them. (Luke 6:32)
Love doesn’t boast. I can’t imagine a loving boaster. It’s an oxymoron. Rude and loving don’t go together, either. Can you picture loving the guy you’re cutting off in traffic?
“You owe me. I have my rights.” Try to love a person while saying those words to him. It’s harder than rubbing your head and patting your tummy.
A loving person wants the other guy to succeed. I like being that other guy. But if we really want to succeed, we’ll be the cheerleader for so many around us who need more than a piercing sound.
Uh-oh. Paul says in verse 4, love is patient. I guess I’d better go back and apologize to those young chopstick players and gong resounders and clanging cymbalists. I don’t want to be a gong.
Don’t be a gong. Go out and buy a copy of Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends. But I’ll be your friend even if you don’t.