What The World Needs Now Is Love

Back in 1965, the song “What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Burt Bacharach and Hal David won Jackie DeShannon a Grammy. The chorus of that award winning hit says:

What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not for some, but for everyone.

Unfortunately, the love talked about was exemplified by the misuse of real love in society. The word love itself had lost its meaning. Was it just a statement against war (the actual subtext of the lyrics) or a call to get along no matter what? Did it talk about the love for my spouse or the love for my dog? Did it mean uninhibited sex or a true and legal commitment to one person? Was it acted out in a drug induced free for all or in self discipline and control? We were unsure then and continue to be today.

The Bible says that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). It uses love as one of its definitions of who God is. So, to understand true love, we must understand its very meaning is wrapped up in the person of God.

To understand the scope and breadth of love, we can primarily talk about four of its facets as described by four Greek words: philia speaks of friendship love; storge speaks of familial love; eros talks about erotic or romantic love; agape talks about selfless, sacrificial and perfect love. C. S. Lewis’ book, The Four Loves, deals with these in depth. But, suffice it to say for now, that the last one I mentioned, agape, is the one that describes God and His love for us…and it is also His challenge for us to live up to.

An expert in Jewish law asked Jesus once how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus sent him back to the Scriptures and the man said they stated to love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. This type of love is one that is totally committed, all in, sacrificial and all about the recipient of that love. Our Lord’s response – “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” (Luke 10:25-28). He then went on to describe a “neighbor” as one who is not like us, even an enemy, who does not deserve our love, compassion and care but gets them anyway. Being in a similar situation in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was. His response was akin to the one above, but he added: “On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (see Matthew 22:34-40) Everything God has said through His Word depend on these two commandments.

So, the greatest thing we could ever do, the number one characteristic of those that have eternal life is a life of love. Loving God with everything we are and have, obeying Jesus’ commands (John 14:15) and following Him wholeheartedly. Then, in the same token, loving others like He loves them, selflessly and sacrificially. This type of love does not major on the minors and sets aside our differences for the greater good. You and I loving God and loving others like He asked us to…that is the love that the world needs now.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!!!

If you have questions or comments, include them below or connect with me via email or phone…I would “love” to talk further!!!

Caring in the Workplace, as a Senior Certified Chaplain with Corporate Chaplains of America

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