Some people love to pray so in their eyes Christians who pray little are little Christians. Some love to serve God with their hands and may condemn those who pray for the hungry instead of bringing them bread. Some have a heart to give and are generous with their goods but miserly with kindness or forgiveness. We tend to put greater spiritual value on those Christian disciplines we find most fulfilling. While all these activities are good none are the true measure of our spiritual depth.
The Bible is clear that our love for God and for one another is the only accurate test of our spiritual life. No gifts, no sacrifice, no spiritual disciplines makes up for an unloving heart – 1 Corinthians 13.
We can disagree on doctrine, the nature of God, the significance and means of baptism, the meaning of election and predestination … but we can’t deny the Lord’s command to love God and love our neighbor. We all agree on the love thing.
So, why do I often set that aside (a clear command there can be no debate about) in order to dispute issues that are not so clear – such as those mentioned above? I suspect that if I were fully engaged in loving God and loving my neighbor, there wouldn’t be much time left to argue with you about all the wacky things you believe.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I rival Jesus when it comes to gifts, giftings and manifestations of power but don’t love others, it is a big zero on God’s scoreboard. If I’m so smart that sometimes God calls on me for advice but I don’t love others, I am a total loser. All I may do, all I may know and all I may sacrifice for God may as well be flushed down the toilet if I don’t get real and love others.