November 17, 2006

Without It, I Am Nothing

I like to make the most of my reading time on the train; I usually don't close my book until I step out onto the platform, and sometimes not even then. But a passage struck me so hard this morning that I had to close my book a couple stops before my station and just let it sink in. From Jerry Bridges book, Crisis of Caring:
Write down, either in your imagination or on a sheet of paper, a row of zeros. Keep adding zeros until you have filled a whole line on the page. What do they add up to? Exactly nothing! Even if you were to write a thousand of them, they would still be nothing. But put a positive number in front of them and immediately they have value. This is the way it is with our gifts and faith and zeal. They are zeros on the page. Without love, they count for nothing. [. . .] And just as the number two gives more value to a row of zeros than the number one does, so more and more love can add exponentially greater value to our gifts.

Of course the basis of these words is here. However innovative, productive, diligent, gifted, charismatic, and "successful" we are, without love we are nothing but zeros, a long row of zeros maybe, but zeros nonetheless.

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