If I have … all knowledge …
—1 Corinthians 13:2
In the old television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, Marie Barone has two children. One is her idolized and beloved Ray; the other is her much-neglected Robert. As matriarch of her clan, Marie knows everything. Everything about being intrusive, manipulative, and over-nurturing. A self-proclaimed expert, she excels in every aspect of cooking, cleaning, and keeping a good home. To complicate matters, she lives across the street from Ray and his wife, Debra, and visits frequently to give Debra “helpful” advice.
The apostle Paul imagines a person who “can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge.” What a great help that would be for people puzzled by some parts of the Bible, or for people who struggle constantly with the big questions in life. No question would be left unanswered. No mystery would go unexplained.
Then, says Paul, add to that a faith that could move mountains. Such a person could start churches and missionary movements. They could birth soup kitchens and housing shelters. They could end racism in their city. Yet, Paul says, without love, their stunning gifts would amount to nothing.
In a way, that is true with every ability or gift. You may accomplish many impressive things, but if you are loveless, you are empty, a big zero, nothing.
So get love.
Lord, we may have all the information or data we need, but help us to realize it’s useless without your love. Amen.
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