The year was 1965. Many today are too young to remember, but it was a time upheaval in the country. The Vietnam war was raging, but very unpopular. Other forces were at work also to create a climate of unrest and even distrust. It would seem, what the world needed was love.
Hal David, in considering many of these, wrote a song entitled “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” The world is and was in need of love. And the apostle Paul give us a very good description much going on, even today, it seems those words ring just as true. While many would have us believe love is not necessary but there is not a person who does not need love and who does not need to love others.
Thoughts on Love
The story is told about a little old man who sold small boxes made of cement which, according to his claim, contained something that could mend all family hurts and broken hearts. Some laughed claiming he a shyster; however, those who purchased one of his small cement boxes for a small price found a small piece of paper inside. On the paper was written the word: LOVE. Indeed, love is the cure for family hurts and broken hearts.
Jesus wrote: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Peter wrote, “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). These passages tell us, we must have and we must show our love.
Henry Van Dyke wrote: “Love is not getting but giving; not a wild dream of pleasure and a madness of pleasure and a madness of desire—oh, no—love is not that! It is goodness and honor, and peace and pure living–yes, love is that and is the best thing in the world, and the thing that lives the longest.”
The apostle Paul stated this about love: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13); i.e. there is nothing greater in the world than love! So, let us consider HOW Paul describes love in this chapter.
Characteristics of Love
Love is patient. Love is patient because love has a long-fuse and has the ability of self-restraint (Gal 5:23).
Love is kind. Our attitudes and actions will show kindness to others (Matt 7:12; Eph 4:32).
Love envies no one. However,love delights in the others welfare and happiness (Phil 2:4).
Love is never boastful. Real love does not contain one’s boasting of self; i.e. about one’s greatness, because love respects and regards others with high esteem (Phil 2:3).
Love is not conceited. It is love that keeps the individual from being stuck on his own importance. Why? Because love sees others as important too. When self-centered we can never please God (1 Cor 8:1-2).
Love is not rude. Rather love is gentle which is the opposite of rudeness. Love is swift to hear, slow to speak, and treats others as God commands (Jas 1:19).
Love is not selfish. Agape love is not interested in what one can get but giving what is best for others. Another way to look at this point is, one who loves does not promote his own interest (1 Cor 10:24).
More Characteristics of Love
Love is not quick to take offense. No “chips on one’s shoulder.” Not quickly angered and moved to wrath, but calmness.
Love thinks no evil. One does not keep a score of another’s wrongs nor imputes the motives of another. Love is not an arbitrary love (cf. Matt. 7:1).
Love does not gloat over the misfortunes of others. True love never gloats when hearing a wrong in another’s life; i.e. it finds no Pleasure in gossip (cf. Romans 1:32).
Love delights in the truth. Love “buys the truth and sells it not” (Proverbs 23:23), because of its value of giving freedom (John 8:32).
Love believes all things. Therefore, love accepts all of God’s truths and believes the best about others.
Love hopes all things. Love hopes all that things will go well for others, because love cares.
Love endures all things. Love can enable one to bear up under, sustains, and does not murmur. Regardless how others treat us, we will not stop loving them. In other words, love is steadfast. In New Testament times, the word “endure” described a soldier holding or keeping his ground in the worst of battle.
Love never fails. Consider in your personal life the number of things, which no longer remain with you because they are temporary. But Love lasts forever.
Love is the greatest. We say this about love because that is what God says, “The greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:1 3). Consider loves inﬂuence for good and happiness; yet having the power to benefit self, others, and to overcome evil. However, we are commanded, “follow after love” (1 Corinthians 14:1).
Celsus, who was an early critic of Christianity, said: “These Christians love each other even before they are acquainted.” This gives meaning to: “By this shall all men know you are My disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35). What the world needs now is love.