Summary: A message that deals with the emptiness which is experienced when we are trying to do what is right !

I’m Doing The Right Things, So Why Do I Feel Empty ?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

ILL. Have you heard the story about the actor who was playing the part of Christ in the Passion Play in the Ozarks? As he carried the cross up the hill a tourist began heckling, making fun of him, & shouting insults at him. Finally, the actor had taken all of it he could take. So he threw down his cross, walked over to the tourist, & punched him out. After the play was over, the director told him, "I know he was a pest, but I can’t condone what you did. Besides, you’re playing the part of Jesus, & Jesus never retaliated. So don’t do anything like that again." Well, the man promised he wouldn’t. But the next day the heckler was back worse than before, & finally the actor exploded & punched him out again. The director said, "That’s it. I have to fire you. We just can’t have you behaving this way while playing the part of Jesus." The actor begged, "Please give me one more chance. I really need this job, & I can handle it if it happens again." So the director decided to give him another chance. The next day he was carrying his cross up the street. Sure enough, the heckler was there again. You could tell that the actor was really trying to control himself, but it was about to get the best of him. He was clinching his fists & grinding his teeth. Finally, he looked at the heckler & said, "I’ll meet you after the resurrection!" (from sermoncentral)

Can you identify at all with this guy ? Have you tried being like Christ, and yet you end up frustrated ? Perhaps, you can identify with these.

I try so hard to do the right things, and yet I feel so empty. I teach a Sunday School class, and yet I feel so frustrated. I work hard at being a good Christian wife, at raising my children right, and yet I feel so unfulfilled ! I’ve done so much for others, and yet I feel under appreciated. I’m beginning to think that it’s about time that I do something for me. Maybe it’s time that I take care of #1. After all, no one appreciates the what I’ve done, and it’s really not gotten me anywhere ! Do any of these sayings sound like you ? Have you ever felt any of these feelings. This evening I want us to look at the subject of: "I’m Doing The Right Things, So Why Do I Feel Empty ?"

Why the emptiness in spite of your efforts in doing what is right ? It could be that the problem lies not in what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it ! You see with the Lord "motive matters !" That is what these first three verses of this wonderful chapter are all about ! It’s about "why we do the things we do", and "what the result is when we fail to do them with the right motive or intentions." Let me share four thoughts with you from these three verses.

I. Speech Without Love Is Empty. V.1

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Dearest Jimmy,

No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking off our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you!

Yours Forever, Marie

P.S. And congratulations on winning the state lottery!!! (joke from sermoncentral)

We can go to great lengths in sayings the right things. We can express love through our speech, but if there is no genuine love behind our words, then it leads to emptiness ! Words are awful hollow if there is no love to support them !

"Sounding brass" is not speaking of a musical instrument, but is speaking of a piece of metal and the sound it emits when struck !


The word "tinkling" is the same word translated "wailed" in Mark 5:38

The word is used to describe those who were paid to mourn at funerals !

Our words have no significance without love ! They are empty, and so vain without love !

II. Studies Without Love Is Empty.

V. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; ........and have not charity, I am nothing .

I’ve heard it said...."People will not care about how much we know until they know how much we care !"

Is doctrine important ? Absolutely ! Yet, we can have the right doctrine. We can preach, and teach the right truths, but if we lack love....we will be empty. To be fulfilled in the Christian life, one needs doctrine, and devotion, principles, and passion, conviction, and charity !

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