This is the fourth in a series of devotionals published by First Baptist Church of Charleston in connection with Say Something Nice Sunday and Effective Communication month.

Scripture Focus:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
— I Corinthians 13:1

As Christians, love should be the defining characteristic of all our communication. It is often said that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Care and love are interchangeable. When my mother came to live with us, she was deep in the throes of Alzheimer’s disease. She could do absolutely nothing for herself. My wife dedicated herself to mother’s care. It made no difference what her needs were or how late the hour, she received unqualified loving care. She loved mother although as far as we could tell, mother had no clue as to who was taking care of her. Mother never lost her smile. I think that smile spoke volumes about the care she was receiving.

On that terrible morning when I was the one to break the news that mother had gone to join dad around God’s throne, Liz had such a difficult time accepting the reality. Volumes have been written about the strife that many mothers-in-laws have with daughters-in-law, but nothing could be further from the truth in this case. It was love at first sight. Liz often said to me, “Your mother became my mother.” What husband could want more than that? I was blessed beyond measure. When I was writing my book, Speaking in Church Made Simple, I learned that the two of them had the same favorite Bible verse. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable unto thee, my strength and my redeemer.”
Prayer Focus:
Dear God, help me never to forget that love is the great conqueror
in all our relationships. Amen.