Have you ever met that ‘someone’ who always seems to know everybody who’s worth knowing, knows something or a lot, about pretty much everything there is to know, never seems to suck at doing anything AND knows it!? I have a friend like that… The thing of it though is, I know she doesn’t mean to come across that way, but she does! And even though she always has so much to offer, people are not always able to receive from her because she just always seemed to be ‘all there’! I was in the ladies room one day washing my hands when thoughts of my friend suddenly popped into my head, and I just stated chuckling, because even though my friend is the quirkiest person I know, she also has the largest heart of anyone I know. “Lord you know you could have created only have created only one of her kind in this world”! I said, still chuckling and just as soon as I as I said those words I heard His voice say – “Oh no, I have many other children just like her. As a matter of fact, look up and I’ll introduce you to a friend of hers”. I looked up, and sure enough, suddenly, there she was, staring right back at me from the bathroom mirror! Yep it was I that the Lord was referring to! Moi?! “But I’m not like that!” I said horrified at what the Lord was saying… Oh yes you are! And sometimes you’re even more badly behaved… “ Let’s take a trip down memory lane…
“Remember that day you had that discussion with…”
It all came back to me…, and The Lord sat me down and told me some things that day that I will never forget for as long as I live… He said to my heart:
Love is what makes impartation or interchange of revelation, knowledge, information and or ideas give rise to a melodious opus rather than the clanging of discordant cymbals!
The Lord then went on to teach me some truths from the scriptures that I had never before seen in that light… I will share what He taught me:
Paul was an extraordinarily remarkable man indeed. Not only had God chosen him to take the gospel to the Gentiles, he was extremely learned (A Jew of Jews, who studied under Gamaliel), gifted with eloquence and also graced with deep revelations and spiritual gifts. Paul had seen things that could not be uttered to mere men and had been physically transported to other realms. He probably had more understanding of God’s kingdom than anyone alive during his day.
In verse 1 of 1 Corinthians 13 he said:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
We speak in tongues these days, and if we can string more than three phrases in tongues together, we feel that we are ‘it’, but the Lord explained to me that, in this verse, Paul was not only referring to speaking in tongues (tongues of men) but he was also referring to being able to speak AND converse in angelic dialects with which he would communicate with the celestial bodies! This meant that Paul could be preaching, teaching, or just sitting quietly in this dimension, AND AT THE SAME TIME he could be involved in discourse and ‘Kingdom governing’ interactions with angels and other celestial beings, even the Godhead! that none one around him could perceive!
With all these giftings, it surely would have been extremely difficult for Paul to walk in love, especially towards people that were not as enlightened as he was in the areas that he excelled in.
And we all know that what he stated in verse 2 was all true…
… And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.) But yet he said that without love, he would be like a clanging cymbal (An instrument albeit a bonafide one, making noisy, environmentally irrelevant and socially annoying sounds).
Why did he say that?
I learnt from the Lord that because Paul was so highly gifted that if he did not have love, because of the things he knew he would have ended up –
• Being short shrifted and impatient with what he deemed to be ignorance.
• Being unkind if he perceived that another had less understanding of a matter than he did.
• Envying anyone one who dared to hold center stage attention, if that person were not himself.
• Parading himself as being ‘it’, and no other.
• Being puffed up, and behaving rudely, believing himself to have the monopoly of knowledge.
• Seeking his own, and being easily provoked, because he KNEW what he was talking about, and the others clearly didn’t!
• Thinking evilly and rejoicing when others are proved wrong and him right.
• Being unable to be tolerant, generally disbelieving all things that did not pass his scrutiny.
• Being unable to put any hope in the people around him because of their ‘ignorance’.
• Being unable to put up with any discomfort, because he played such a crucial role in God’s plan.
Would God’s people have liked to be taught by this stellar being above? Certainly not! I would wager that he would have been avoided like the plague, labeled as a royal pain in the you know where, Having knowledge but that knowledge being unprofitable because of his attitude, making it impossible for anyone to receive from him… but we know that was not the case. Contrast this with the Paul that we all know and love – with the same giftings and intelligence walking in love, even with him having more understanding than those around him – I believe as the Lord showed me, He learned to walk in love through the things that he suffered:
2 Corinthians 12:6-8
New International Version (NIV)
6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
With the endpoint point that through the outworking of love, he:
• Was patient and kind, knowing that if people didn’t understand, it was because they were not ‘there’ yet and would understand, once they understood, and this he prayed for continually.
• Did not envy others being in the limelight, neither was he puffed up nor paraded himself in an unseemly manner because he
very well knew that we all have these treasures in earthen vessels.
• Did not behave himself rudely, was not easily provoked, nor sought his own, because he knew that, in Christ, all are equal.
• Did not think any evil, neither did he rejoice in iniquity because he knew and was fully persuaded of the truth that we are
all one body, and that God esteems each part uniquely.
• Bore all things joyfully – beatings, shipwreck, imprisonments, believed, hoped, and endured all things, because he knew
‘The Christ’ who fills all in all and it was He who paid the greatest price of all…
Who would not have wanted to be around such a guy, or want to learn from him? i know I would! I would stick to him like ‘white on rice’!
And as we see from scripture, because he conducted himself in love, his leadership was accepted, and he was able to influence Europe and much of Asia major and minor and multitudes that we may never know of until we get to heaven, for Christ…, and this is what he had to say:
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through LOVE.
YES! Love is like the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down in a most delightful way!
The bible then goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 13: 8-10 that all these things that we think are sooooo important and grants us a certain status WILL ALL PASS AWAY! And the only remaining question will be how well did you show love with the gifts and talents that I gave you?
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
Yes! EVERYTHING but love will be done away with. So the question God asked me is “Mettabel How deep is your love”? Are your wells of love deeper than your perceived springs of revelation?
1 Corinthians 13: 11-12
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
The Lord said to me: “It is time for you to grow up. Time to put childish things behind you”, knowing that…
1 Corinthians 13: 13
13 … now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
‘Cos love is the only thing that abides forever – Not giftings for they will not be needed, not tongues for all will be understood, not prophecy, for all would have been fulfilled, Not earthly knowledge for all that would have passed away, and certainly not revelations, for all would have been revealed. So on that day, in His light, I saw light, and I was liberated, and I daresay saved from shipwreck because He opened my eyes to see, He loved me, He lifted me. His grace purged me, and His Word pruned me…
So my friends I learnt that my love is certainly not as deep as as 13×13, so I am allowing His Spirit as the old song goes, to ‘teach me how to love in the true meaning of the word, because my words are not enough’. I am also punting the question to you today:
How deep is your love?
If like I did, you failed the 13×13 test, ask the Lord to help you, and I guarantee you that He will!
…And the next time you see me in 2013, please ask me is your love still as deep as 13×13? And because I AM my brother, or as the case may be be, sister’s keeper, I will ask you the same…
Peace and love from my heart to yours,
© AdePero Mettabel, January 10, 2013