If I speak with the words of wise men and angels, but do not have perfect unconditional love, then my words are so insincere that they feel and sound hollow and cold like empty brass, or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of vision or prophecy and I understand all spiritual mysteries including all knowing-knowledge; if I have all degrees of faith to move mountains, but I do not have perfect unconditional love, then I am nothing.
If I sell all my material goods to feed the poor, or offer to give my body as a sacrifice so others may live, but I do not have not perfect unconditional love, it profits me nothing in this world or the world to come.
Perfect unconditional love endures pain and suffering for long periods of time without love being returned. Perfect unconditional love is kind; it is not jealous or envious; it doesn’t brag or boast, it is not bloated with pride or arrogance.
Perfect unconditional love does not show itself through the use of unbecoming actions, provocative deeds or profane words; it does not elevate itself to a higher level of expectation in others; it is not easily provoked, in fact it endures the offenses tossed at it without murmuring or complaining, and it refuses to yield to outbursts of contempt, anger or rage.
Perfect unconditional love does not and will not condone evil in any form, fashion or shape; but it rejoices, delights and celebrates in all actions of truth. It remains firm and secure in every situation, it believes the best at all times, it hopes for success regardless of the circumstances, and it helps carry the burdens and weights of life no matter what they are. It is completely unwavering. Perfect unconditional love never fails.
Prophecies and visions will fail, words of wisdom will cease, and knowledge will vanish. At this moment, I only know in part, and I only see and speak in part. The day comes soon, when He who is Perfect Unconditional Love will come, and then all those things which I see, envision, or speak in part will be revealed and completed.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I understood like a child, I thought like a child: but when I became grown, I put away childish things.
Right now I see things through a dark glass and what I know and see is only in part; but once face to face with His perfect unconditional love, then shall I know and see as I am known and seen.
For now I live in faith, hope, love, just these three; but the greatest of these is truly perfect unconditional love. I must hurriedly run after perfect unconditional love while I can, but I should still keep desiring spiritual gifts so I may prophesy and speak truth to others. For those who speak directly to God the Creator: they must know how to speak to Him, and no one understands Him; because He speaks mysteries in the Spirit. The ones who do understand Him will then prophesy through words or visions to all others for their uplifting guidance, encouragement and direction, and comfort, reassurance and peace.
(Paraphrased version of 1 Corinthians 13:1 – 14:3 by Amber Ann Wright Feb. 14, 2013)