3-14 Clanging Cymbals

First Corinthians 13 has a message
I believe we Christians have missed.
We can quote it by heart
We’ve heard it so much
Its verses are easy to list.

We’re lulled with its meter and beauty
Its words make us glow with delight.
But His warning is there
The gifts are no good
Without His love and His light.

We need the Fruit of the Spirit
To replace our worldly traits.
No jealousy or envy
No pettiness or hate.

He told us what we should be
We’re far from that you see.
Our pride and self get in the way
We concentrate on me.

Our brother is an annoyance
His ways get in our way.
I see his faults, they’re obvious
So to the Lord I pray …

Save him, oh Lord
And change his ways,
He’s ugly, can’t you see?
He needs to be as good and kind
And generous as me!

And with our mouths
We tell each one just what
They need to change.
We threaten them with scriptures
Till they suspect we’re strange!

We do good works but not of love
It’s pride that guides us on.
We want our friends to see and hear
How Godly we’ve become.

We are those clanging cymbals
We blast and criticize.
We see the sins in others
But not in our own lives.

We brag of how we pray and pray
The miracles we see.
But if our lives don’t show His love
We’re nothing, you and me.

With all the gifts He’s given
We’re nothing in His eyes
If all our motivations
Are based on pride and lies.

We can prophesy and understand
The mysteries of His Word.
Our faith can move a mountain
But still God won’t be stirred.

He sees our hearts
He hears our words.
They’re not from Him above.
They’re filled with darkness,
Not with light
They don’t exhibit love.

Without a humble heart that sees
The foibles of our ways
God’s love will not flow through us
And penetrate the haze…

That covers our true motives
And others hearts as well.
Our clanging cymbals need to cease.
We need to ring like bells …

Whose purity of sound and tone
Will change a ravaged land ..
From deviant ways and pride and greed
To take a Godly stand.

Then love will truly conquer all.
And Christians can again stand tall.
We’ll use God’s gifts for all to see
And they’ll see Him instead of me.
DLH – December 20, 1991