If someone were to sit down with you and ask, “What matters most in life,” how would you respond?
I suppose some would begin to list their personal accomplishments. Others might point to how much money and material possessions they have been able to accumulate.
But in Galatians 5:6, the Apostle Paul said, “If you are a follower of Christ Jesus…all that matters is your faith that makes you love others.”
Christ followers have been called to live a life of love. You don’t have to buy into that idea. You have a choice in the matter. But before you opt out, there are some things you should know.
According to 1 Corinthians 13, if you don’t live a life of love, nothing you say will matter. Without love, our words are just noise. Words without love are empty and meaningless. We love eloquence. We love charisma, but God is not impressed by our presentation. He is not wowed by the words that we speak.
Without love, all of our knowledge is worthless. You may be smarter than all of your peers. Perhaps you have knowledge that surpasses everyone in the areas of science, math, literature and history. But if you don’t have love, according to 1 Corinthians 13:2, then all you know is worthless. Brilliance without love equals nothing in God’s economy.
Think about it. We live in a world where knowledge is exploding. Until 1900, human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months.
IBM projects that very soon, the world’s information base will be doubling in size every 11 hours. We are smarter than we’ve ever been. We have more knowledge than any generation before us. Do you know what is so sad about that? We still face the same old problems we have always had – war, terrorism, poverty, crime, abuse, prejudice, hatred, violence, etc. What the world needs now is not more knowledge. It needs more love.
Read just the first three verses of 1 Corinthians 13. I may speak with absolute eloquence, possess knowledge above all others, have faith to move mountains and be the most generous person to have ever lived. I may rack up an incredible list of personal achievements, but if I don’t have love in my heart, it is all worth nothing. I am bankrupt without love…the thing that matters most to God.