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31 I want you to desire the best gifts.[a] So I will show you a much better way.

Love

13 What if I could speak
all languages
of humans
    and of angels?
If I did not love others,
    I would be nothing more
than a noisy gong
    or a clanging cymbal.
What if I could prophesy
and understand all secrets
    and all knowledge?
And what if I had faith
    that moved mountains?
I would be nothing,
    unless I loved others.
What if I gave away all
    that I owned
and let myself
    be burned alive?[b]
I would gain nothing,
    unless I loved others.
Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful,
    proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish
    or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record
    of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth,
    but not in evil.
Love is always supportive,
loyal, hopeful,
    and trusting.
Love never fails!

Everyone who prophesies
    will stop,
and unknown languages
will no longer
    be spoken.
All that we know
    will be forgotten.
We don’t know everything,
and our prophecies
    are not complete.
10 But what is perfect
    will someday appear,
and what isn’t perfect
    will then disappear.

11 When we were children,
we thought and reasoned
    as children do.
But when we grew up,
    we quit our childish ways.
12 Now all we can see of God
is like a cloudy picture
    in a mirror.
Later we will see him
    face to face.
We don’t know everything,
    but then we will,
just as God completely
    understands us.
13 For now there are faith,
    hope, and love.
But of these three,
    the greatest is love.

Footnotes

  1. 12.31 I want you to desire the best gifts: Or “You desire the best gifts.”
  2. 13.3 and let myself be burned alive: Some manuscripts have “so that I could brag.”

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