The Wrong Motivation Makes Preaching Worthless

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (I Corinthians 13:1)

There are many Christians today who are gifted speakers. Some of them are very good at speaking in their native tongue. Others are good at learning and speaking in foreign tongues. Still others claim to speak in angelic tongues. But God is not pleased with any of these speakers if they do not speak out of a motivation of love, even if they sound good, or their message is orthodox.

I believe that speaking that is not done out of love is worthless. Now, when I say worthless, I do not mean that it has not value to those who are listening. Indeed, God is so powerful that He can use even the words of spiteful people to to spread truth (Philippians 1:15-18). However, any preaching that is not done out of love is worthless to the one who is performing it. This principle is true of any ministry. Pastors who do not preach out of love are not bringing any pleasure to God; He will not reward them in heaven for their uncaring ministry. Those who feed the poor without love likewise bring no pleasure to God. Those who lead the praise team without love likewise are not making God happy. There are many good things that people do for bad, selfish reasons. But none of these have any spiritual benefit for those doing the work. Only ministry done in love will be rewarded by God.

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