“People are more important than things” was my mother’s response to a
variety of situations. It was a song on a children’s album I had. Mom made
it a way of life.
That phrase came to mind recently when my high achieving son brought home a
report card with some not so high marks in “Personal Growth & Social
Development.” My eight year old perfectionist tends to focus on final
results and ignore the importance of the process.
My common response “enjoy the process” seemed to have more meaning as we
read 1 Corinthians 13 together. He seemed to realize for the first time
that the relationship with people is more important than the success of the
project. Prior to this, his understanding of the importance of people meant
it was his responsibility to get the people to do things right for their own
The career day at school recently may have helped when I explained to him
that he could be the smartest guy in the world but it would be meaningless
if he were not able to get along with people.
Tina Turner asks: “who needs a heart when a heart can get broken?” In this
high achieving, feel good, success driven cultural, we attempt to ignore
that we do have a heart and so do others.
It’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of the physical and the logical
steps to success and ignore the love in our heart. In reality, whatever
“success” is achieved feels very meaningless without love.
Whether it’s in an elementary school classroom, at work, or in ministry;
“If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love
others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a
clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the
mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t
love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I
could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good
to anybody. 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 be of no
value whatsoever.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
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