Clanging Symbols

“IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Cor 13:1 (Amplified)

My husband is a drummer…and a good drummer, at that. He’s played professionally for years and does studio work so he is constantly practicing. He’s a perfectionist and he spends a lot of time tweaking every lick for perfect rhythm. When he’s stuck, he will play a part a thousand times until he gets it right.

It’s never bothered me to be around all that banging of the drums, but when it comes to the clanging of the cymbals, that’s another story. I know he’s a perfectionist, but I’m so thankful when he gets the cymbal part down and moves on to the rest of the song.

The crash of a cymbal is never a beautiful sound. Neither are words without love.

So, what exactly is love? How is it defined in our lives? What does it look like? What does it sound like?

It’s good to compare our own concept of love with what God’s Word says about it. It’s good to see our own attempts to love others through the lens of God’s Word. So, today we’re going to take a little love test and see where we land on the love-odometer.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient and kind ~ Are you patient and kind?

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude ~ Are you jealous, boastful, proud or rude?

It does not demand its own way ~ Are you selfish? Is it your way or the highway?

It is not irritable ~ Are you an irritable or grumpy soul?

It keeps no record of being wronged ~ Do you hold grudges?

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out ~ Do you find pleasure in the misfortunes of others?

Love never gives up ~ Do you give up on those you love?

Never loses faith ~ Do you lose faith in those you love? In your circumstances? In your relationships?

Is always hopeful ~ Is your love always sprinkled with hope?

Endures through every circumstance ~ Will you hold on through thick and thin?

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

I didn’t really pass the love test today. Sometimes I’m impatient, unkind and irritable with those I love…with those who should see the love of Christ permeating from my life. Instead, they often see the pressures of my day, the excess of my hormones or the selfishenss of my heart.

I long to pass the love test. I long for others to consistently see Christ in me. To see me truly loving others as Christ does. Sacrificially. Fervently. Patiently. Passionately.

What about you? Did you pass the love test today? Do you love like Jesus loves?

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  1. I'm working on “never giving up” and “not losing faith”. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Excellent post, Stephanie! Thank you for this powerful reminder!

  3. Hi Ashely ~ Thanks for being so transparent. I want to encourage you to hang on…don't lose faith. When you don't know what's waiting around the corner, know that God is holding you through every curve.

    He loves you and He never gives up on you. He will never leave you, He will never forsake you.

    Praying you never lose faith!

  4. Hi Teri Lynne ~
    I really long to pass that love test. Thanks for popping in.

    By the way…I love your Scripture Dig post today, “Double Whammy”

  5. It's a test I seem to take over and over every day. Maybe if someone in my house would start playing the drums, it would remind me more of how I sound when I'm not passing the test.

  6. Julie,
    That really did make me LOL! I wish I could pass that love test every day too!

  7. I love this line: “Instead, they often see the pressures of my day, the excess of my hormones or the selfishenss of my heart.”

    What truth that is – for me this week too! Thank you for the encouragement, I'm glad He is breaking me down to build me up, just wish others couldn't always see my downs! But I will keep on keepin' on and you too!

  8. Amy ~Thanks for popping in today and sharing your own construction process with us.

    We are all such a work in progress. 🙂

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