The Pruning

Posts Tagged ‘spiritual gifts’

The Priority of Love

In Charlie Kang on February 8, 2012 at 3:31 pm

by Charles Kang

We learn from a very early age that we are all special snowflakes.  Aw, doesn’t that just warm your heart?  You’re unique.  You’re different and the things that make you different make you special :]  With this mentality in mind, we strive to accentuate the qualities that make us stand out and feel special, which in turn creates competition.  If I feel special because I can rap (I really can’t rap), then a person who raps better than me threatens my spot of being the best Korean-pastor rapper.  This sense of competition destroys relationship and scatters seeds of jealousy and animosity to people.  Sadly, this mindset has seeped into the church.

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians to a people who wanted their snowflake to stand out more than others.  These Christians had an unhealthy view of tongues, prophecy, and other spiritual gifts that turned them against one another.  The resentment they had for one another was lucid in their “fellowship” and evident in their chaotic church services.  Paul writes to this messed up church and reminds them in 1 Corinthians 13 that they should all be pursuing love over gifts because love will remain forever (1 Cor. 13:13).  Gifts are temporary, but love is eternal.  Hallmark, if you want to buy that line off of me, send me a holla.  HAHA.  Paul shares with them that love is the most important quality you can have because love will last forever.

William Gladstone, a prime minister of England in the nineteenth century, one night was working late on an important speech he was to give to the House of Commons the next day.  At about 2 o’clock in the morning a woman knocked on his door, asking the servant if Mr. Gladstone would come and comfort her young crippled son who lay dying in a tenement not far away.  Without hesitation the busy man set his speech aside and went.  He spent the rest of the night with the boy, comforting him and leading him to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.  The boy died about dawn, and Gladstone returned home.  He told a friend later that morning, “I am the happiest man in the world today.”  The true greatness of Gladstone was not in his political position or attainments but in his great love, a love that would risk his political future to show the love of Christ to a young boy in great need.  As it turned out, that morning he also made what some historians claim was the greatest speech of his life.  He gained that victory, too, but he had been willing to lose it for the same of a greater one.  Love’s victory was more important.

William Gladstone understood that his job would change, and the imprint he would leave on history would not last.  Sure, he won’t be remembered like a Steve Jobs or Michael Jackson (before this entry, did you really know who William Gladstone was?  HAHA.), but his labor of love will endure the test of time.  Church, what’s more important than being a special snowflake is being a people defined by a God-centered love?  Stop striving to be special snowflakes.  Instead, be a people of cookie dough, who are soft, sweet, and cut into the shape of Christ’s love for you (see 1 Cor. 13:4-7, or if you’re a girl you can watch, “A Walk to Remember” [lame]).  Conform, and love others the same way Jesus loved you.  Love, not personal gifts and achievements, is what matters in the end.

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