If your kids are like mine, at some point they scream. Not only do they scream, but they keep on screaming. It is noisy, loud, obnoxious, and quite irritating. On the other hand, there are times when we are in the car, or at home, where they break out into a beautiful rendition of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Burning in My Soul,” or “One Thing Remains,” as well as a host of other songs. As they sing, there is a sweetness, a pureness, and a beauty accompanied behind a a five and seven year old singing.

Today, I am reminded how important it is for our lives, the way we move, live, speak, act, and respond in and to this world to match up with the beauty and glory of what we believe. If we believe that Jesus is the King of Glory who has come to set things right–in this world and in our lives–it is imperative that we allow him to live through us in this world. If not, what happens is that our lives, our actions, our responses, our movement, and our speaking becomes like the noisy sounds of children yelling at the top of their lungs. And we all know, there is nothing beautiful, harmonious, and sweet about that. If our lives are lived like a noisy sound of a child yelling, there will be this constant rejection and ignorance of Christ based upon the noise coming out of his children.

However, on the other hand, if our lives become this sweet, pleasant, harmonious sound of children singing, we may gain the attention of those around us. In fact, we may peak their interests enough (through the way we live, move, act, speak, and respond in an to the world) that they want to hear more about the origin of the songs coming from our life. When we do, we will be able to tell them that our sounds, our singing, our living come from our great God and King, Jesus.

So, the question becomes how can we make sure that our lives are not a clanging cymbal, but a sweet, pleasant, harmonious sound of praise emanating from our lives? Paul gives us the answer in 1 Corinthians 13. The answer is simply love. We can have all the spiritual giftedness, understand the Bible backwards and forwards, give as much money as we want, sacrifice to great lengths for spiritual advancement, but if we do not have love, we are just a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Therefore, for our lives to be sweet, pleasant, and harmonious we must love. And our love must be vertical before it is horizontal. We must love God with all our heart, soul, and might, so that we may love our neighbor as ourselves. For when we love God, his love flows through us as a beautiful symphony of praise, disseminating beautiful music from all areas of our life.

In conclusion, are you, the way you are living, a noisy gong and clanging cymbal like that of a screaming child, which is leaving a bad aftertaste in the mouths of those who do not know Christ? Or, is your life a beautiful symphony of sweet, pleasant, harmonious music like that of a young child singing their little hearts out, which is spreading the life, light, and love of Christ? May our lives produce the sweet, pleasant, harmonious, beautiful, and powerful music of Christ and how he is reversing the curse of sin and conforming our lives as he intended them to be. I think we will come to find that people will respond much better to this music rather than the other.

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