1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 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. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJV)
Worship is one of the fastest growing ministries in the church today. It is what is called one of the glamour ministries because the people get to be up front where the congregation can see them. Many churches are quick to put those with musical talent into their teams sometimes with tragic results. It requires maturity in your walk with the Lord. It requires love. We see so many people come into the worship ministry with incredible talents and yet when it comes to loving their families, neighbors or friends they have some very deep issues. We say along the lines with verse 1 above, Though I sing or play like an angel, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging symbol. If you have ever heard those things going off continually they grate at your senses. That’s what many sound like to God. There have been many singers and musicians that I have heard with incredible talent and yet I just could not listen to them and later I would find out the reason was because they had an issue with love or a lack of forgiveness. John says in 1 John 4:7-10;
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Verse 20; If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
If you are unable to love those who are here on earth with you, there is no way you will be able to love God the way you are meant to. There have been times where I struggled in these areas as well. Let’s face it some people are pretty hard to love. But it doesn’t mean we don’t have to. We have to ask God to help us to love them and see them as He does, not with our own heart or eyes because our flesh will lie to us. And if we live according to the flesh we will struggle.
Another great struggle for us as worshippers is not to harbor unforgiveness or bitterness. Both are great poisons to our souls and separate from the love of God. They are also one of the root reasons we can have trouble to loving others. It’s amazing to me how petty some Christians can be in holding grudges against others. God has forgiven us so much and yet if someone takes our parking spot or our seat in church we hold on to it and refuse to forgive that person. This parable that Jesus told in Matthew 18:21-35 has been one that always comes back to my memory whenever I find myself with thoughts of unforgiveness.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
Unless you forgive others for what they have done to you, God cannot extend His forgiveness to you. Without forgiveness it is impossible to walk in the love the God commands us to. For the worshipper, love needs to be our guidepost in all we do. Not just in front of the congregation but as well away. If we act like an angel in church but like a demon at home, God knows.
As a worshipper, examine your heart. Has any of this spoken to you? If so you need to get on your knees and repent. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see the love He has for others. Get rid of bitterness and unforgiveness. If you need to go and see someone to makes things right, do it without delay. Let your worship be a pleasing aroma to God and not a stench. Come to him, confess, He will never turn away a sincere heart. Go through the rest of 1Corinthians 13 and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you your own heart and allow Him to bring change in the areas that you are lacking in. Then you will truly sing or play like an angel an all of heaven will join you.