I remember a hilarious, absurd TV show broadcasted in the late 70’s called The Gong Show. Each show presented a competition of amateur performers of often dubious talent, with a panel of three celebrity judges. If any judge considered an act to be particularly bad, s/he could force it to stop by taking up a mallet and striking a large gong, which took the form of a large flat, suspended circular metal. Once struck, a loud noise from the gong reverberated throughout the live and TV audience.
Interestingly, the Bible has a gong show. In 1 Corinthians 13:1-4 tells us, If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
The Gong Show in the New Testament is judged on how we love each other. You saw in the above passage that if you do not love, a gong is sounded out to God and His heavenly hosts. Paul stated that he didn’t care how dynamic a person is, how well s/he speaks or how perceptive s/he is, even if you have faith to move mountains or give away possessions, if this is not done in love, GONG.
I don’t care how big a title you have or your reputation at work, if you don’t prioritize your spouse by active listening, honoring, praying with them…GONG. 1 Peter 3:7 states “Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding (loving) way…showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”.
I don’t care if you coach your kids or chase them all over the place watching their games, dance or musical performances, etc., if you don’t spend authentic one-on-one time with them guiding wisely, active listening to, honoring and praying with them…GONG.
I don’t care if you lead Bible Studies but don’t live out genuine, unselfish love…GONG.
God doesn’t care about all your accomplishments and gifts nearly as much as he cares about your heart. John 13:34 quotes Jesus as He commands us “to love others as I have loved you.” You can’t manufacture this sacrificial kind of love in your own strength. This is produced by obedience allowing the Holy Spirit to love in and through you.
A year or so ago, I had to take care of an inspection for my car. While in this establishment, a tall, distinguished man came in speaking out words such as “bless you…God is good…etc.” holding in his hands what looked like Christ based material. He requested a simple task to be done to the lady behind the counter who nicely and evenly quoted him their minimal charge of $25…corporate policy. The “bless you” man then came uncorked and verbally abusive…over $25! GONG! How often are your actions gonged daily? Learn to love as Christ loves you!