The word "REPETITION" is to a teacher, what the word "LOCATION" is to a realtor. The real estate mantra is "Location! Location! Location!" The teaching mantra is "Repetition! Repetition! Repetition!"
Well, in I Cor 13:3, Paul repeated three times that without love we are nothing.
HE MADE THIS PERSONAL!
Note, he did not say that what we do is nothing. We can do some pretty incredible things but without love, even though we do great things, we personally remain "nothings..."
Why, that is a hard pill to swallow? Reminds me of old Nicodemus in John 3.... "you mean I must go back to the womb, you mean that everything I did counts for nothing?"
The answer lies in the created design. If we buy a drill but it doesn't drill, it is useless as a drill, EVEN THOUGH we can use it as a screwdriver, a hammer, or as a decoration. The fact remains it is useless according to its design.
Now, we can understand we were designed to be the image bearers of God.
That we were designed to experience and express the love of God.
THAT IS OUR SUPREME PURPOSE for our existence.
But even though we might preach a great sermon, speak in tongues, prophecy, give away all we have, or offer our lives in martyrdom.... if we do those things without loving people, we are failing to fulfill the purpose for which we were created!
At that point, WE ARE NOTHING! WE ARE NOTHING! WE ARE NOTHING!
"By this the world will know that we are His disciples, in that we love one another."