1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Recently, I have taken up a new hobby. It is not a hobby I necessarily wanted to adopt; nevertheless, it became necessary. Each autumn, when the temperature becomes colder, I notice evidence of tiny visitors throughout the house. I am not particularly fond of these pesky intruders, but old farmhouses regularly have their share of these pests. Unfortunately, this year there have been more visitors than usual – hence, my new hobby. I have become a trapper and I specialize in mice.
As my daily catch increased, I started wondering how these critters were entering the house. I asked our friend and repair expert if he had any ideas. After nosing around the perimeter of the foundation, he found an answer. At the outside corner of the kitchen wall some of our 165-year-old bricks were starting to crumble. On further investigation he discovered a passage through the wall into our crawl space. This provided the perfect access for my unwelcome guests. Thankfully, we are correcting the problem.
The mice found a way to enter our lives but their presence was unpleasant. As Christians we also should have a desire to find our way into other people’s lives. By doing so we can develop relationships that will allow us to share the gospel message with them. But we do not want to have a negative affect. Our access to others must always be through love.
God has given us all gifts that we can share with those around us. To some He has given the gift of speaking God’s word; to others the gift of knowledge; to some faith and others giving. But what good are these gifts if we repulse the ones we are trying to reach. None of these are worth anything if we do not access others’ hearts through love.
When we love others we will take the time to know them. We will spend time in prayer, asking God to help them in time of need. We will be considerate of their feelings, patient as we wait for God to move. We will comfort when times are bad and rejoice when life is full. In this way we slowly gain access to those around us and then have a platform for sharing the salvation story.
My little mice friends certainly are smart, but they are not very wise. They found a way to access our home through a hole in the wall, but their presence is unpleasant and more than one has become snapped in my trap.
Take some advice from a trapper – if you want to make a difference in people’s lives without ending up in disaster, always make access through love. Love never fails!