Hairspray is one of my sister’s favorite musicals, and as a result, our family has heard all of the songs multiple times (only the Zac Efron and John Travolta version, obviously). One of my personal favorites is “Without Love,” which takes place during a dramatic scene, but still brings in some humor to lighten the mood with the lyrics. The song gives comparisons to what life would be like if they didn’t have love, like ” a week that’s only Mondays.”
I immediately thought of this song when I started my bible study the other day. I started reading 1 Corinthians 13, and the first 3 verses stuck out to me. Usually when people teach on 1 Corinthians 13, the focus is on verses 4-7, and most weddings have them read by the officiant. One of the things I try during my personal studies is to find something new that I haven’t spent time looking into before, and I realized I had never spent much time thinking about the verses in the beginning of the chapter.
Here’s what Paul has to say to the Corinthians and us: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (13:1-3 ESV).
Breaking it down verse by verse really emphasizes just how much love effects our lives. Our words are meaningless and have no eternal impact if they are not spoken out of love. Without any love behind what we say, it’s just babbling and no one is going to benefit from hearing it.
The same can be said about power, understanding and faith. No matter how strong or smart you are, if there is no love in your life, there is no worth to be found. You can’t amount to anything unless you know what true love is, and show it in your actions.
Our sacrifice depends on love also. We can see this missing in a lot in our world today. People can help and do good things for orphans and the homeless, but the only thing we can give them to help them truly change their lives is the gospel. Clothing, food and money are awesome things to offer, but eventually they will be gone. These things can give temporary fixes, but bringing people to Christ saves lives. Our job as believers in Christ is to give hope of eternal life with our Creator, and this is the most important thing a person can know about. It doesn’t guarantee safety, money or good health, but it does allow us to have joy in knowing that Jesus Christ offered himself to pay for our sins and enter the presence of God.
This can be hard for people to understand, why would we value the gospel over different things we can do for others, but this is where our faith and trust in God comes into play. By allowing Christ to be the center of our lives, we have a purpose. We are called to love God and love others, and this creates a better relationship with God, because as 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.” The only way to know what true, perfect and pure love is, is to know who God is. As we know Him, we can begin to see love in our lives.
These verses showed me a lot about what our lives as Christ followers should look like- FILLED WITH LOVE. Love should drive my life, and is a crucial part of ministry. Without love, my life is irrelevant. There is nothing I could say or do on my own that could even compare to what God is capable of, and that’s why He is God and I am not.