[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
The godly love that the apostle Paul describes is indomitable. It can bear mistreatment (though this passage in no way condones allowing abuse to continue—which is not showing love for anyone). Real love endures all kinds of trials and believes and hopes for the best, knowing that in the long run God will bring the best.
Love never fails. It is an eternal principle—part of the very nature of God (1 John 4:16).
Other things that are important now will not continue forever. Prophecies are important for motivating humans to prepare for the future; but after they have been fulfilled and after there are no more human beings, prophecy will no longer be important. The same is true for languages: When humans become spirit, human languages will no longer be needed. Even knowledge of the physical realm will vanish away in eternity. Or as Young’s Literal Translation puts it, “it shall become useless.”
As Paul said, the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). For more about how to grow in God’s love, see “The Great Commandment.”
See also our article “The Love Chapter.”