I can speak in every language known to heaven and earth, but if I don’t have love, it’s just a bunch of noise. And I can have prophetic powers, understand every mystery and know all there is to know; I can have faith that will actually move mountains, but if I don’t have love, I’m still a nobody. I can give away everything I own and even offer my body as a martyr, but if I don’t have love, it would be a total loss.
Love is patient and kind; it doesn’t brag or get jealous; it isn’t arrogant or rude. Love doesn’t insist on getting its way; it is not irritable or resentful; it doesn’t enjoy seeing things go wrong for others, but rejoices when things go right. Love puts up with everything; it always believes the best is possible, and hopes for it, and holds out for it.
Love never ends. As for prophetic powers, ability to speak in different languages, knowledge of all sorts–all of these will end. Because our prophecies and knowledge are just partial–and flawed. But when perfection comes, everything that is flawed will end.
When I was a child, I spoke, thought and reasoned like a child; but when I grew up, all that came to an end. At present, we can only see part of the truth–it is like looking at someone in the reflection of a mirror. But when perfection comes, we’ll be able to see the truth face-to-face and know others in the same perfect way God knows and understands us. But for now, we have these three: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.