“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” (I Corinthians 13:1).
Overlooking the city of Corinth is a mountain called, Acrocorinth. Atop the Acrocorinth was located the Temple of Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the goddess of love. 1,000 prostitutes worked in the temple compound servicing the “worshippers” who would come to pay tribute to Aphrodite. Corinth was known as a city of sexual perversion. To be “Corinthian” meant a lack of morality and license.
In the evenings, after finishing their work in the temple, the prostitutes would descend the mountain and walk into the city. Many of these prostitutes wore small cymbals on the inside of their ankles. As they descended into the city with each step they would strike these small cymbals together to announce the arrival of their perverted version of love for sale to anyone. When Paul penned the words of I Corinthians 13, he would have had this practice in mind.
The Church has been called to make the sound of love spoken with truth in each sphere of cultural influence. It will be a very different sound from the cheapened substitutes being offered to people. This is not limited to our sexuality. It can apply to any area of life where we settle for something less than the true love of Jesus Christ.
As the Church walks in the cultures of the world we have the profound opportunity to announce the arrival of Jesus Christ by making the sound of love spoken in truth. We have no problem with the sound part. Each of us has an opinion about all matters of life. The content of our sound is where the challenge comes.
A personal interpretation of love without the defining element of God's truth is not love but a prostituted compromise. Truth spoken without love carries the brutality and control of a religious spirit. Both love and truth must work together to create the message of Jesus. This sound is not for sale. It is a grace-gift given to all who are willing to receive the beauty of its message.