“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
“More cowbell, please!” is a tongue-in-cheek phrase often thrown around between musicians, and usually the drummer is more than happy to oblige. Admittedly, the cowbell has its place, but constant pounding on this farmyard instrument can result in obnoxious frenzy!
I’m guessing it’s much like a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”… just noise, and somewhat annoying at that!
The Apostle Paul compares this overbearing sound to a loveless voice. He tells us that even if we speak with the eloquence of angels and various languages of man, if we fail to speak in love, our words are useless. Worse than useless, actually- think cowbell!
No matter how hard I study, how highly I perfect the art of speech- my message, advice, encouragement and conversation are nothing. Only when I truly put love into those words do they come to life and are primed ready to be used by God.
Love is “the most excellent way” for everything. If we need to rebuke or correct, doing it lovingly makes the world of difference to the person on the receiving end. Conversation about Jesus comes alive when we share about His love, and how much it means to us. Through our attitude of love, God speaks. So with love on my mind and in my heart, there is more of God in my words, and less of me… and definitely less cowbell!