1 Corinthians 13:1


Published on January 11, 2012 by GEPC Staff

1 Corinthians 13:1 (ESV)
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."

Act out this verse - speak while looking beautiful and important as your child bangs away noisily.

A Clanging Cymbal

(Parts below taken from online devotion, Keys for Kids)


Clanging: A loud, undesirable noise. 

"Goodbye, Marcie. See you tomorrow," said Paige. "And congratulations again for getting the lead in the play." As soon as Marcie had gone, Paige mumbled, "I can't stand that girl! She's such a snob."


"Why, Paige!" exclaimed her mother. "From what I heard you say a minute ago, I thought she was a good friend."


"Yeah." Paige's brother Cameron spoke up. "You walk home with her and invite her in for a snack, and then you say stuff like that. She's smart, and I think you just want her to help you with your math, don't you?" As he spoke, a horrible, clanging noise started coming from their younger brother's room.


"What's that noise?" asked Paige, covering her ears.


Mom laughed. "Pete borrowed Grandpa's antique dinner gong for his science project about sound," she said. "From our point of view, that may be a bad thing." Paige remembered Grandpa's collection of brass antiques. She liked most of them, but not the gong. Pete will probably be banging that thing all evening! she thought.


Paige was right, and when her brother banged the gong while she was doing her homework, she called for help. "Mom! Make Pete stop that noise!" she pleaded.


Mom went to Pete's room, and the banging stopped. Then Mom came into Paige's room and sat down. "I don't like that noise any better than you do," said Mom, "but it reminds me of you."


"Me!" exclaimed Paige.


Mom nodded and picked up a Bible from Paige's desk. She opened it to First Corinthians 13. "Here-read the first verse," she said. 


After reading the verse silently, Paige simply gave a startled, "Oh!"


"You don't need to be close friends with Marcie," said Mom, "but you should treat her - and everyone - nicely, and you should not be two-faced about it. When you talk about her the way you do when she's not around, and then you act like you're great friends when you see her, the words you speak to her are like that old, brass gong Pete was clanging-just a lot of noise without any value." Mom looked sternly at Paige. "Do you understand?" 


Paige nodded slowly, "If I don't live a life of love, nothing I SAY will matter.  God says words without love are just noise. Words without love are empty."  "That's right," said Mom, "We're really impressed by great speakers, great communicators. We love when people sound really smart. We love charisma. But God says, "That doesn't impress Me at all. I don't care how good of communicator you are. I want you love, because that reflects Jesus." Living a life without love means nothing we say will matter.


  • Have you ever heard a "clanging" cymbal? What was that like?
  • Why does God not want us to say one thing with our words and act another (or think another in our heart)?
  • Can we love others by our own strength and will-power? No. We must ask God for help to love the way that Jesus has loved us.
  • How did God show His love to us? Was it just words or did He do something to show us His love?



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