A Paraphrase

If I preached like Peter at Pentecost, but without love,
It means about the same as the noise of tin cans
dragged behind the newlywed’s car.
If I tell people about God, and understand the Second Coming,
And have faith so I could spin a mountain like a top, but lack love,
I’m still standing on square one.
If I give away everything, even my life, but do it without love,
It’s all a big, fat zero.

Love gives others the benefit of the doubt and is respectful.
Love isn’t possessive and doesn’t gloat (even about grandchildren),
Love doesn’t look down its nose at anyone.
It isn’t always demanding its rights; it’s not cranky or unfriendly.
It’s saddened by people’s bad luck but elated by their good fortune.
Love suffers without whining, believes in others,
Hopes for the best, endures like a good soldier.

Love lasts.
Though some sermons seem endless, they will cease;
Charismatic outpourings will end;
Our best knowledge will end up in a shredder,
Because knowledge is like a page in the wind,
And our preaching, well—
No one has to be told that’s imperfect.
But when perfection arrives,
All our half-baked efforts will crumble like the walls of Jericho.

When I was little, I babbled like a child.
I reasoned like a child and thought only of myself.
But I’ve outgrown that.
Now it’s like watching an eclipse through a piece of smoked glass.
But then, all will be crystal clear.
Now we have little slivers of light;

Then we’ll see fully and clearly
Just as we are seen fully and clearly now.
So, there’s faith, hope, and love, all thoroughbreds,
But faith and hope will still be coming down the home stretch
When love crosses the finish line.