“In the world of pain there is a need for love, a real, real need for love… Love your brother… a need of love, a need of heart.” These words, translated from the famous song by the Colombian singer Juanes, paint a picture of humanity’s universal need for love.1 “Everybody needs love” rang out another song from the sixties.2 And with the countless social conflicts, outbreaks of violence, cries of outrage, the scourge of the pandemic, along with the “viruses” of selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-service and other diseases of our times, what we need most is love.
Every year, at Christmastime, my husband has to endure my private tradition of watching Love, Actually.1 The movie weaves together several stories in an entirely predictable, mushy way. But each time I watch it I am touched by a different part of the story. I try to get my husband excited about this, but he is not having it! I know this makes me a bit sappy, but I just don’t get how someone can’t be drawn in by this display of love, tenderness and warmth.
In John 13:35, Jesus says, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”1 That doesn’t necessarily seem too hard, but for a word that we use so often, when you think about it, love is actually quite difficult to pin down. You understand it through actions. What would you be willing to do to show love to those around you?
Jesus gave us the key to true purpose and harmony when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”1 What does that mean, in practical, everyday terms? One of the best explanations ever given is found in the Bible’s “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13. Times and terms may have changed, but the underlying principles are as true as ever. Here’s a paraphrased version of 1 Corinthians 13 for today.
Loving others can be extremely difficult at times. A common phrase to refer to those people that we consistently find ourselves challenged to love is “extra grace required” people. But even people we generally like can sometimes be difficult to love. The main reason we run into difficulties in loving others is sin, both ours and that of those we try to love. … Battling both our own selfishness and sin tendencies and dealing with the selfishness and sin tendencies of others can make love a chore.
The other day I read a very interesting article about the Feynman Technique, which promises to help you learn anything in four steps. It intrigued me, as I enjoy learning and jump at any opportunity to make the process easier. The article says that Feynman tried to always explain complex ideas in the simplest terms.1
The course of true love never did run smooth.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for.
—Erica Jong (b. 1942)
Arguments with my parents marred my college years. We argued about how much time I spent on expanding my social life, my newfound love for television talk shows, my desire to buy a motorcycle, and a myriad of other things that are trivial in retrospect but were highly emotional issues for me. At the time, I saw my parents as old-fashioned guardians who were blocking my way to the full enjoyment of the prime of my life.