A Rousing Speech

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1

Have you ever felt yourself listening to a really good speech, argument, or just someone making a point so flawlessly and with such care and seemingly respect for your person that you find yourself nodding in agreement? You might find later that you agreed nothing with what they said, but they had been effective in captivating you for the time being. 

Now, while in context, 13:1 is referencing hose abusing the gift of speaking in tongues (cf. Acts 2:14, 2:11, 1 Cor 14:5, 14:39), this first verse of chapter thirteen could also be describing just that—someone who speaks in a rousing way (perhaps a false prophet? cf. Mk 13:22, 2 Cor 11:13, 1 Jn 4:1). Paul makes the argument that, if this person acts without ἀγάπη, agapē love, they are just speaking for the sake of speaking (cf. Prov 16:27, Jas 1:26). Their message means nothing, is hollow, and holds no water. 

So, act with love (cf. Matt 22:37-40, Deut 6:4-5, Lev 19:18, Mk 12:29-31, Lk 10:27-28). Show the world God’s light (cf. Matt. 5:16). Don’t act with foolish speech (cf. Ps 34:13, Prov 18:21, Jas 1:26, 3:8, 1 Pet 3:10).

“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:8-10

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