1 Corinthians 13:1-3
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing."
First Corinthians 13 is probably one of the most quoted chapters of the Bible. In verses 3 through 8 Paul spells out exactly what it means to love each other. How would Paul respond to someone who says, "I would be more loving if others were more loving to me"? Is it possible to serve others without loving them? (See verse three.)
It's a bad thing when a married couple can't connect. The same goes for fathers and sons, or mothers and daughters, or best friends. When one person has tuned the other out, connection is impossible.
Proverbs 27:5 says, "An open rebuke is better than hidden love!" (NLT) Look at the man reading the paper again. If you asked him, "do you love your wife?" he would respond "of course I do!" But there's nothing in his actions to shows that love. His love is hidden in this case. So is it any wonder that his wife takes it as an insult?
The key to connecting with those you care about is love. And the key to loving each other is loving God. Jesus told us that the two greatest commandments are "'you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Mark 12:30-31, NLT).
When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, that means all of our conscious efforts are geared towards putting God in first place in our lives. And it's no coincidence that God has also said "you can love me by loving others" (see Matthew 25:40). One of the greatest ways we have of connecting with God is by connecting with others.
Start with the people around you. How are you showing that you care about them? If someone from the outside were to look, would they see that you care more about yourself? Or would that person see someone so connected with those around him that he can't help but want to do the same?
Lord Jesus, thank You for the ultimate demonstration of love on the cross. Thank You for making it possible for us to connect with You. Amen.