“... if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
— 1 Corinthians 13:2b (NRSV)
Fruit of the Spirit unpeels Divine Love,
Joy and peace and goodness from above,
Willingness to obey every good thing,
Joy’s in God with which to bring.
Father of Lights redeems us to bestow,
Power to envelop—insight to know,
These Spiritual gifts given from above,
Are undersigned and ignited in a thing called ‘Love’.
This is the thing. Such a great fuss is made about ‘the gifts’—the Corinthian mistake—which is outplayed in myriad order in every generation—and the point is missed. The point will always be missed when we mistake skill for love.
God’s First And Final Test
The test of God is, God saying this, ‘Can you be like Me?’
This means, are we able to, in the discharge of our gifts—faith, prophecy, wisdom, tongues, sacrifice, preaching, pastoring, teaching, etc—master the portion of love required to the correct agree. Is the gift indwelt with love? Truth, alone, is not enough.
It’s a test because it’s the most difficult thing to do. To be able to exercise our skill in a way that honours the Giver of our spiritual gifts is the requirement of this Divine order. But we are more apt to forget Divine attribution—even, sometimes, in the midst of church.
And then there are times when we do get it right. God shows us. We feel blessed. It is confirmed in the way we think and feel, both in authentic alignment, and the touch of God has been felt. We achieved love within the expression of our gift.
Remembering To Never Forget
If the aforementioned was the test of God, the test from our persons is our memory. Can we remember love is the way? Can we recall, in the moment’s need, that love is to sprinkle its anointing over the gifts of our works? Better, still, to be indebted to love; to study and to fall in love with it through compassion, patience, kindness, and its delighting in the truth.
Remembering to never forget is a poisoned chalice. We will forget. We’ll issue our spiritual gifts without the perfection of love and they won’t feel right—yet, God will allow them to rest in love—for we ‘speak’ our gifts in Divine name; the Lord will sponsor it in love making up for our deficiency. Ours is the opportunity to become reminded.
We are simply reminded when we forget, God is love, and, whilst we might pretend, we so often aren’t. This calls forth our need of God all the more.
The praise for every gift falls silent without love.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.