How you love represents who you love.
Think about something you own that someone else would consider worthless. Why is it important to you? It is important because it has meaning to you. This object is probably tied to an experience you had, and no one else has had the same experience. For me it’s a big ball of green duct tape that sits in my office. It really looks like trash and maybe it should be. It has hair, carpet fuzz, and dirt stuck to the sticky sides that are showing. Gross, I know. But to me this ball of tape has a very meaningful moment attached to it. A moment I never want to forget. A moment that reminds me of how far I have come. A moment that is attached to some amazing people. It would be easy for someone to miss the point of this ball of tape because without meaning it is worthless.
So much of life is like this. It’s easy to miss the point to life if you don’t have meaning. It’s so easy to miss the point of following Jesus when we get caught up in just doing things to prove our faith to those around us. When we try to prove our faith to our family, God, or even to ourselves, the point is easily missed. We can do lots of good things. We can speak kind words and encourage people. We can pray big amazing prayers. We can have faith in God and believe He can do miracles. We can give lots of money to great organizations. We can share our stuff and help provide for people. We can even sacrifice our lives for Jesus and still completely miss the point. All of these things are great, but without love they are worthless and without meaning.
Whatever your motivation is, whether guilt, obligation, peer pressure, or something else, if it is not because you love God and love people, your actions are simply nice gestures but not of real eternal significance. Love has to be the motivation because how we love represents who we love. When we love people by sharing what we have we are representing Jesus and all the love that He has showed us. It may not look like that big of a deal to anyone else around you, but if the point is love it will be meaningful. It will matter!
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3