If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

I watched as she made her way across the room. A beautiful woman, impeccably dressed, shoes that matched the dainty handbag she clutched in her hand, jewelry tastefully worn, hair that beautifully curled around her soft face. Her skin was flawless, and her eyes were lit with intelligence. She walked across the room, aware that eyes followed her; she was not arrogant; she was confident and bold. Her beauty and knowing look drew people to her. People stood and made their way to her. Eager for her to single them out, hoping she would speak to them.

As the crowd gathered and she began speaking, those closest to her recoiled in disgust as the stench of her breath wafted around them. With each word she spoke, the crowd got smaller and smaller until none were left to hear all she had to say. She was bewildered as she looked around and noticed most were gone. And those that weren’t were distant and out of reach.

I wondered, as I sat and watched her, how could she forget one of the most important parts of presenting herself? Why did she not make sure that when she spoke, her breath had a pleasant refreshing smell, and not a harsh stench? Such beauty and confidence, wisdom and knowledge, wasted as no one could listen to all she had to say because the smell of her breath was off-putting. Most people completely walked away, and others kept their distance so as not to catch a whiff.

Alone with so much knowledge and wisdom to share. So much to give but no one to give and share with. If only she had put a mint in her mouth before speaking, she could have taught those around her so much. So simple and easy and yet overlooked and forgotten.

If only we would remember to love. We can sacrifice all that we have and all that we are for our lost beloveds. We can give them our money, our time, we can speak truth to them, but it all stinks if it isn’t done from love. God is love, and the only way to love our lost loved ones is too first fill ourselves with the love of God. We can have wisdom and knowledge, but if we don’t have love, then it does not matter.

The bible says we are to be clothed in love. Covered, wrapped up in love. Every step we take, we should take out of love. Godly love. Love that lays down its life for a brother or sister. And this is the love we clothe ourselves with and walk in….

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Everything we do without love has a stench that people run from, but love will never repel.

Praying for us,
Brandi Roark