In the mid 1960s a very plaintive song was written, pleading with God for more love for everyone in the world. The title of the song was, What the World Needs Now is Love. It decried the many problems of the day as more than enough to last for all time, and acknowledged the physical blessings that were present. Still, something more was needed to heal the many broken lives.
A Collective Yearning
The song caught the collective yearning hearts and minds of many and became quite popular. The Vietnam War was raging. It was a time of unrest in the world and in our nation, a year after president Kennedy’s death. It was the time of Hippies, LSD, and “free love.” It was a plea for something to make sense of the despair many were feeling.
What most didn’t realize was that the love they pined for was right there with them. Unbeknownst to them, their Creator saw, heard and felt their pain. And even though the song obliquely pointed the people in His direction, few looked and traveled the road toward Him. It was love on our terms, or we are out of here.
I’m reminded of another song written about 15 years later, Lookin’ for Love. The lyrics, “I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places” sum up the human experience of looking for a lasting and meaningful love within the framework of human nature. The history of the world bears this out as fact and truth.
What the World Needs
Look at our world today. These two anthems of the human condition are even more true today than the eras that caused their creation. Opposing political ideologies, racial discrimination, violence, greed, hate, immorality, lust, vengeance, retribution, selfishness, and pride, to name a few, are literally tearing apart our nations. And this is in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, a time when we should work together for the benefit of all, not just a few.
All of these problems have been around as long as the human race has existed. Human legislation or decree cannot resolve these problems. It is time we realize that we cannot solve them on our own. What the world needs is help from someone who understand the human condition. And who better than our creator God can do that? He not only loves, He is love. He is a selfless outgoing love that only wants the best for all His creation. We are all sinners, yet God loves us. The only thing He hates is sin, and this is because sin always hurts what He loves, humanity as well as the rest of creation.
The Love of God
He is willing to fill each and every human being with His love so that we might let it flow out to others. It is not a type of love we can hoard or stifle. His word, the Bible, defines this kind of love this way:
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love dos not brag, and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails […] faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1
What the world needs is the love of God. There are no problems, no conditions that such love cannot overcome. Acknowledgments of wrongs made with love, forgiveness requested, extended and received in love, set us all free from the downward spiral of despair that sin always rewards us with. The day is coming when there will be no more victims. There will be no more sin like avarice, discrimination, hate, immorality, racism, violence, and vengeance. It will be overcome by and through the love of God shed abroad by believers.
What the world needs now is love, it’s true, but it is the love of God, the only thing that will make things better! Let’s all look for love in the right place!