I Am Nothing Without Love

14 February 2011

It’s hard to avoid the topic of love today, given the date.  There are thousands upon thousands of love songs, but one song, more than any other, speaks to me about true love.  Every time I listen to this track by singer/songwriter Ginny Owens, I am stopped in my tracks.  If you have a few minutes, click this link to listen to “I Am Nothing”…

I could travel over oceans, cross the deserts, climb the mountains

Just to share your story, bring you glory, and win souls for you.

I could sing like an angel, songs so humble and so thankful

Full of drama and emotion, so the world would know your truth.

I could give away my money and my clothes and my food

To restore those people who are poor, lost, and down-and-out.

Oh, I could succeed at all these things,

Find favor with peasants and kings,

But if I do not love, I am nothing.

I could live a flawless life,

Never cheat or steal or lie,

And always speak so kindly, smile warmly, and go about doing good.

I could dedicate myself to do what everyone else wants me to-

Listen to them, compliment them, say the things I should.

I could show up every sunday, lead the choir and Bible study

And they all might come to know me as a leader and a friend.

Oh, I could achieve success on earth, but success cannot define my worth

And all these actions, all these words, will not matter in the end-

Songs will fade to silence,

Stories, they will cease.

The dust will settle, covering all my selfless deeds.

So as I strive to serve you,

Won’t you make it clear to me,

If I do not love, I am nothing.

If I cannot live my life loving my brother,

Then how can I love the one who lived his life for me?

Sent to earth from heaven,

Humble servant, holy king,

Come to share a story, get no glory, and save my searching soul,

You knew that I’d deny you, crucify you, but nothing could stop you from

Living for me, dying for me, so that I would know-

Songs will fade to silence,

Stories will cease,

The dust will settle covering these selfless deeds.

But your life here has made it clear enough for me to see

That if I do not love, I am nothing

These lyrics get me every time.  Without love, I am nothing.  Without love, you are nothing.  We can go through the motions, and do all the “right” things, but without love what difference will it make?  Speaking kindly, offering charity, living honestly, stepping up to leadership, encouraging others… these are all admirable traits but without love they are just noise.

The first three verses of 1 Cor 13 challenge me as a leader.  Do I love my MOPS mums? Do I love my leadership team? Do I seek to see them as Jesus does, and love them as He has loved me?  Or am I going through the motions, doing all the “right” things and just generally making a whole lot of noise?

This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you as a MOPS leader to reflect on God’s love for you, and consider the ways you share His love with your team and your group.  Don’t just make noise.  You are dearly, deeply, tenderly loved. Live like it.

1 Cor 13:1-3 (NLT)

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels,

but didn’t love others,

I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I had the gift of prophecy,

and if I understood all of God’s secret plans

and possessed all knowledge,

and if I had such faith that I could move mountains,

but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body,

I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others,

I would have gained

nothing.

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Catherine Oehlman is Chief Editor of Connections Online, and Coordinator of her MOPS group in Stafford.  She also lead worship at the Australasian Conference in 2010.  Cath blogs at SquiggleMum and you can follow her on facebook or twitter.  Her own munchkins are aged 2 and 4.

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