If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)
God is love and He has created mankind in His image. When we do not love, we are living in opposition to what we were created to do. From the cradle to the grave, our greatest endeavor will be to love. Anything we accomplish in this life will come to nothing if in the end we did not have hearts that gave and received love. Throughout our lives, we will experience moments of elation that bring bursts of joy and jubilation but they will be short-lived and temporary if not enveloped in love. Even the laughter of children is diminished by their tears until the great equalizer, which is love, comes to the rescue.
From the manger to the cross Jesus demonstrated love. With all that He accomplished as He walked among us, His love was the driving force behind every selfless act He performed. God sent Him to teach us how to love. It was God's love that lifted Christ from that tomb to sit at His right-hand while preparing a place for us in His eternal Kingdom. And it is belief in God's love that will sustain us until Jesus returns.
When it seems difficult to love or when we feel unloved by others, we have only to trust in God's love and remember that we were loved into being. God loved us first, even before we knew how to love. God's love covers everything and God's love never fails.