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Without Love, You’re Wasting Your Time
By Rick Warren

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 (NIV)

We were put here on Earth to learn to love God and others. Love is our greatest aim in life.

In the first few verses of 1 Corinthians 13, the Bible makes it clear why love is the most important value:

Without love, all that you say is ineffective. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV). Words without love are just noise. People resent and reject unloving words. But they will listen and respond to words spoken in love.

Without love, all that you know is incomplete. “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge . . . but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV). The world is exploding with information and knowledge, yet many of our most basic problems are not being solved. That’s because the world really is not looking for more knowledge; the world is looking for love.

Without love, all that you believe is insufficient. “If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV). Many people have the misconception that being a Christian is just about believing certain truths and doctrines. But do you love Jesus? Do you realize he loves you? Christianity is about experiencing the love Jesus has for you and learning how to love like him.

Without love, all that you give is insignificant. “If I give all I possess to the poor . . . but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV). There are all kinds of motivations for giving, including obligation or prestige or guilt. Just because you give doesn’t mean you’re doing it in love. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Without love, all that you accomplish is inadequate. “If I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever” (1 Corinthians 13:3 TLB). You can have all kinds of great accomplishments. You can even sacrifice your life for the greatest cause in the world—the Kingdom of God—but without love, it’s wasted effort.

You can have the eloquence of an orator, the knowledge of a genius, the faith of a miracle worker, the generosity of a philanthropist, and the dedication of a martyr. But if you don’t love, it doesn’t count.

The good news is that you can love others because God first loved you. As you live within his love, Jesus says he will help you to love others. When you draw closer to him, your ability to love will increase—he makes it possible for you to live out the calling to love others.

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Encourage a Graduate in Your Life

Graduation time is here, and chances are there’s a young person in your life who could use some encouragement, along with a little guidance.

Set them up for success with Pastor Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life: Selected Thoughts and Scriptures for the Graduate.

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We’d love to send you a copy of this special resource as thanks for your gift today to help Daily Hope take the transforming power of Jesus into more lives around the world.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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