1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
Throughout your life you will have many people tell you that they love you. Some will mean it, and others, unfortunately, will mean something like “I love what you do for me” but, when you are no longer in the position to give, will suddenly find you less desirable than before. We call those “fair weather friends”. When times are good, they are with you. When times are bad, they are nowhere to be found, and all their declarations of love now ring in your ears as nothing more than empty words, a clanging cymbal.
To hear someone say that he or she loves you is a wonderful thing, but real love loves in word and deed. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will do the things I say” (John 14:15). I think we get so caught up in the frustrations of life that we fail to notice those moments, those actions that say love without a word. Love speaks in many ways, and maybe actual words are the least of these.
Love is holding your child in the dark of the night after a bad dream. Love is knowing your husband’s likes and dislikes; that shows you care enough about him to notice what he likes and to provide those things for him. Love is making a four-hour round trip drive on a Friday night to be with a friend who has lost a loved one and doing it all over again the next day for the funeral. Love is sitting in a hospital room, holding a hand that cannot hold yours. Love is driving the car with no heat so your wife can have the car that has it. Love is watching the movie you don’t like so someone else can watch the one that she does. Love is sacrificing your comfort for someone else, just as Jesus did for you.
If you cannot see that I love you by the things that I do, all the beautiful words in the world will not make it so. My words without actions are simply noise, if I have not love.