If I status update with such insight, hilarity, godliness, or profundity, that I get a thousand retweets and likes, yet have not love, I’m a cellphone that won’t stop ringing, or a car alarm at 2 AM.
If I understand every nuance of every complicated doctrine, including eschatology and predestination, and am a constant defender of orthodoxy, and if I am renowned for my ability to communicate truth with passion, but have not love, I’m nothing more than a first grader in the kingdom of God.
If I am a fantastic worship leader, able to lead hundreds of people in passionate worship of God, yet have not love, my skills are worth jack.
If I am a blog warrior, constantly on the attack against those who would distort the faith, yet have not love, I’m that yippy dog next door who won’t stop barking…even at 3 AM.
If I live a life of radical sacrifice, crazy love, and wartime mentality, and sponsor lots of kids through Compassion International, and go on mission trips in “closed countries”, but have not love, I gain nothing.
If I am a great artist, able to capture a snapshot of the glory of God on canvas, or in song, or in prose, or on film, and yet have not love, my creative “genius” is utterly useless to God.
If I preach like Piper or Chandler or Chan or Platt, and yet have not love, I’m nothing more than a squawking parrot who likes to imitate others.
If I read all the books by all the smart theologians, and can quote them off the top of my head, yet have not love, WHO REALLY CARES!!!!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.