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Monkeys With Clanging Cymbals

I wrote a blog post recently over in the Confessions blog about why I think about leaving my church.  I suggested that the reason people want to leave their particular church is because they don’t feel loved.  They don’t feel love coming through the preaching or music or the activities (or lack of them).  I want to explore that just a little more about why I think that causes people to what to leave their churches.

I don’t think many of us who follow Christ will disagree that He gifted us with spiritual gifts.  I’ll leave it up to you to figure out what yours is.  Me?  I find this sense of joy in teaching the Bible.  There is not really much else I want to do in the church.  I may be a good manager in my job, but in the church I want to teach.  I love digging into the word of God and explaining it to people.

Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 13 that if you use those gifts without a necessary component, love, that you are a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  Stop right there for a minute and consider that.  A gong use at the right time adds something.  A cymbal used in a musical number may add a quality to the music.  But imagine if it’s not.

That is what using a spiritual gift without love is like.  Beating on a gong.  Clanging on a cymbal over and over and over until it just drives you insane.  Kind of like those old toys with the monkey.  You wind it up and the monkey beat the cymbal over and over.  It might make you laugh at first the first time you child plays with it.  A few days later you are looking for some way to get rid of it.

That is what using spiritual gifts without love is like.  A monkey beating a cymbal over and over and over.  If you pastor is preaching without love?  Bangbangbangbangbangbangbangbangbangbang.  Your head hurts after a while and you want to get out of there.

The music without love? Bangbangbangbangbangbangbangbangbang.

Programs without love? Bangbangbangbangbangbangbangbangbang.

Love is the key to wanting to stay in a particular church.  Now there may be reasons why love isn’t happening.  There may be reasons why you stay.  But I think I can tell you why you and I think about leaving.

Monkeys with clanging cymbals.

Have you ever been a monkey?  Have you known a monkey?

  1. May 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    I like monkeys—clanging cymbals, not so much. I agree about the love, though. Without love all of the good that we do is really no good at all.

  2. February 20, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I have, to my shame, been a monkey. So glad I am out of that suit.

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