If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise.
If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do?
Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.
If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever.
Love is very patient and kind,
never jealous or envious,
never boastful or proud,
never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable or touchy.
It does not hold grudges
and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
It is never glad about injustice,
but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost.
You will always believe in him,
always expect the best of him,
and always stand your ground in defending him.
All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.
Someday prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge—these gifts will disappear.
Now we know so little, even with our special gifts, and the preaching of those most gifted is still so poor.
But when we have been made perfect and complete, then the need for these inadequate special gifts will come to an end, and they will disappear.
It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.
In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.
There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
How does your love measure up to this checklist from 1 Corinthians 13 (TLB)? If you have been embracing love as a feeling rather than a doing, now is the time to take action. Show the love of Christ in you to ALL those around you – the ones you see as undeserving as well as the deserving!
Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 TLB