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. (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV)
Today the church celebrates Pentecost, a profound time in its history when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles 50 days after Jesus ascended to Heaven, allowing them to speak in tongues (languages they had never learned). While the gift of speaking in tongues remains controversial among Christians today, one thing remains certain: we should all be able to speak the language of love. The apostle Paul, who could speak in more tongues than the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 14:18), had this to say to them, “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” (1 Corinthians 13:1). And what is love, but patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeping no record of wrongs, not delighting in evil but rejoicing with the truth. “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (13:4-8). Because “where there are tongues, they will be stilled,” but love will remain (v.8). So let us strive to speak the language of love.