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Clanging Cymbals

I rarely have time to think about much beyond changing diapers and building Mega Block castles, but every now and then a rare quiet moment occurs.  At such times, I have been thinking a lot about how I treat people and how people have treated me.

1st Corinthians 13:1-3 says, if I do a bunch of  really great spiritual stuff but do not have love, I am nothing and in fact my words (English, Angelic or otherwise) are annoying like a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (my paraphrase).  I have always looked at this with a big picture perspective. Basically,  even if I spend my life doing a bunch of stuff for God, if I don’t love Him and love my neighbor (see Matthew 22:36-40) it is worthless.

I am realizing that it doesn’t just apply to my life as a whole but to each and every relationship that I have.   If I don’t show love in all my interactions with my husband, children, friends, family and even strangers all the spiritual things that I do or have done don’t really matter.  As soon as I treat someone in a devaluing way,  I lose all influence and authority that I have in their life and my words become to them like a “clanging cymbal” in their ears.  I am also doing the opposite of loving God by disobeying Him.

We humans come up with a lot of reasons (actually excuses) for treating people poorly.  A lot of them we justify in spiritual ways.  At the end of the day what matters is;  did we treat each person in our lives the way that we would like to be treated? Did we love God the way he commands us to love Him?  Did we make it right when we messed up?

Anyone in authority has a lot of power to destroy people when they do not treat people with love. We all know people who have become “clanging cymbals” in our lives. That is why this is so important to me now that I am a parent.

God help me to love my children, build them up and not tear them down.  Help me to make it right when I do it wrong.   Help me to be an example to them of what it means to love God and to love my neighbor.  Amen!

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