Saturday, December 20, 2008

A more common way

And now I show you the most common way.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, at least I am in good company.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I still will be impressive and people will respect me for my authority on distracting irrelevancies.

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I still will have something to brag about to make others ashamed in comparison to me.

Love is impatient, love can be unspeakably cruel. It is jealous without provocation, it boasts of all the sacrifices it makes, it is proud.

It is rude, it is self-serving, it is easily driven to exasperation, it holds grudges and remembers wrongs committed years ago.

Love tries not to delight too much in the misfortune of others when they get what's coming to them, or at least not to show how much it's enjoying it.

It usually protects, often trusts, occasionally hopes, and perseveres about half the time.

Love fails much more often than we would like to admit.

Where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; and where there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Now we see through a glass, darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall fully know, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. Some day we will understand what love really is.

Copyright © 2008 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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