Love is most important
1 I may be able to speak many different languages that people or angels speak. But that is worth nothing if I do not love other people. I would only be making a loud noise, like someone who hits a piece of metal. 2 I may be able to speak messages from God. I may understand all God's secret things, and know all the facts. I may have great faith so that I trust God enough to move mountains. But I am nothing if I do not love others. 3 I may give all my things to help poor people. I may let other people take my body to burn it. But that would not help me if I do not love others.
13:3‘I may let other people take my body to burn it’ or ‘I may give my body as a sacrifice so that I can be proud.’
4 If I love people, I will be patient. I will be kind. I will not be jealous of other people. I will not be proud and say that I am great. 5 If I love people, I will be polite. I will not just want to please myself. I will not quickly become angry. If someone does a wrong thing against me, I will not keep it in my thoughts. 6 If I love people, I will not be happy when bad things happen. Instead, I will be happy when things happen that are right and true. 7 If I love people, I will always accept their problems. I will always believe them. I will always hope for what is best. I will always be patient in troubles.
8 Love will always continue. The gift to speak messages from God will not always be necessary. The gift to speak in different languages will stop one day. The gift to know special things will not always be necessary. 9 At this time, we know only a part of everything. We can only speak a part of God's whole message. 10 But a time will come when everything becomes complete. When God does that, we will not need the small parts that we have now.
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child. My thoughts were a child's thoughts. I understood things in a way that a child understands. But now that I have become a man, I have stopped being like a child. 12 At this time, we see things as if we were looking at them in a mirror. What we see now is not clear. But the time will come when we do not need a mirror. We will see everything clearly. Now we know only a part of what is true. But then we will know everything completely. We will understand completely, just as God understands us completely.
13 At this time there are three things that continue. We continue to trust God. We continue to hope for his good things. We continue to love other people. But the most important of these things is love.