I Don't Want to Be a Noisy Gong

by Joyce Kokaisel

1 Corinthians 13

John 13

John 17: 20-26

John 4: 7-21

Several years ago, I heard a friend say “I don’t want to be a noisy gong” in reference to 1 Corinthians 13. Now everytime I read this scripture I think of what she said.

For as surely as our heartfelt prayers and praises are sweet smelling aromas to our God, our words and actions can be sweet beautiful music or noisy gongs to the ears of God. Have you ever heard the sound a gong makes? And a clanging cymbal only belongs in a marching band!

We can be noisy gongs when we: Gossip, demean, break our promises, compare ourselves to others, make ourselves look better than we are and many other ways!

And as ironic as it may seem, we can be noisy gongs when we remain silent when God would have us step forward and speak up.

And finally, a devotion I read by Charles Swindoll titled The Final Priority.

Somebody copied the following paraphrase from a well-worn carbon in the billfold of a thirty-year veteran missionary. With her husband, she was on her way to another tour of duty at Khartoum, Sudan. No one seems to know who authored it, but whoever it was captured the essence of the greatest essay on love ever written.

If I have the language ever so perfectly and speak like a pundit, and have not the love that grips the heart, I am nothing. If I have decorations and diplomas and am proficient in up-to-date methods and have not the touch of understanding love, I am nothing.

If I am able to worst my opponents in argument so as to make fools of them, and have not the wooing note, I am nothing. If I have all faith and great ideals and magnificent plans and wonderful visions, and have not the love that sweats and bleeds and weeps and prays and pleads, I am nothing.

If I surrender all prospects, and leaving home and friends and comforts, give myself to showy sacrifice of a missionary career, and turn sour and selfish amid the daily annoyances and personal slights of a missionary life, and though I give my body to be consumed in the heat and sweat and mildew of India, and have not love that yields it rights, its coveted leisure, its pet plans, I am nothing, nothing. Virtue has ceased to go out of me.

If I can heal all manner of sickness and disease, but wound hearts and hurt feelings for want of love that is kind, I am nothing. If I write books and publish articles that set the world agape and fail to transcribe the word of the cross in the language of love, I am nothing. Worse, I may be competent, busy, fussy, punctilious, and well-equipped, but like the church at Laodicea – nauseating to Christ.

How about you and me committing ourselves to a life like this…. A life that amounts to something …rather than nothing.

Each new day God brings our way is a fresh opportunity.

“I don’t want to be a noisy gong” How about you?

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