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Love is large and incredibly patient.[a] Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous[b] when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated[c] or quick to take offense.[d] Love joyfully celebrates honesty[e] and finds no delight in what is wrong.[f] Love is a safe place of shelter,[g] for it never stops believing the best for others.[h] Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up.

Perfect Love

Love never stops loving.[i] It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away.[j] It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.[k]

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  1. 13:4 Or “Love patiently endures mistreatment” could mean that love is incredibly patient even in difficult relationships. The Aramaic can be translated “Love transforms the spirit.”
  2. 13:4 Or “boil with jealousy.”
  3. 13:5 Or “overly sensitive” (having sharp edges).
  4. 13:5 Or “resentful” or “does not keep score.” The Aramaic can be translated “Love does not stare at evil.” Love will overlook offenses and remain focused on what is good, refusing to hold resentment in our hearts.
  5. 13:6 Or “reality” (or “truth”).
  6. 13:6 Or “injustice” or “unrighteousness.”
  7. 13:7 Or “Love bears all things.” Although commonly understood to mean that love can bear hardships of any kind, the nominalized form of the verb (stego) is actually the word for “roof” found in Mark 2:4. Paul is saying that love covers all things, like a roof covers the house. See 1 Peter 4:8. Love does not focus on what is wrong but will bear with the shortcomings of others. And like a roof protects and shields, you could say that love springs no leak. It is a safe place that offers shelter, not exposure.
  8. 13:7 Or “it never loses faith.”
  9. 13:8 Or “Love never, not even once, fails [lapses]” or “Love never falls down” (it keeps going higher).
  10. 13:8 The Aramaic can be translated “prophecy comes to pass.”
  11. 13:8 That is, the gift of the word of knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8). Knowledge itself will not pass away or be set aside, for we will learn of God’s mercies throughout eternity. This is the gifts of knowledge Paul refers to.

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