If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
— 1 Corinthians 13:1 —
Igor Bodun: Grace Bible Seminary | Ukraine
When I was a young boy, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I was part of the Young Soviet Pioneers. As a pioneer, I had a special responsibility: I was the drummer for our unit. I was given a drum to play, and a good friend of mine was given a pipe. And when we played at an event, we could be heard almost everywhere in our village. Yet our drumming and piping were only empty sounds, just noise with no lasting profit for our audience. We shouldn’t allow religious knowledge, endless activities, and professionalism to push out love and leave us spiritually empty. When all was done, we hung our instruments back on the wall, and life went on as before. During the first century, the church at Corinth was making a lot of “noise” as well. The believers were entrusted with spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 1:7) to be used in ministering to others. However, Paul discovered one extremely important shortcoming: a lack of love for God and for each other. The absence of love resulted in division, quarrels, selfishness, arrogance, and more. Without love, their church services were not focused on the gospel or its true promotion. We also need to guard against losing love and becoming mere noisemakers. We shouldn’t allow religious knowledge, endless activities, and professionalism to push out love and leave us spiritually empty. Love is the most important gift and the first fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). This fruit of the Holy Spirit is “the engine” for the blessed ministry of the church. Please check whether love is in its place! Don’t just be a noisy drummer in your community.