“What the world needs now is love, sweet love” are the opening words to a popular ballad of a number of years ago. It expresses a desire that virtually everyone holds. But what is love? Judging by the commonly held understanding of “love,” the world does not need any more of it! If what is happening in the world is evidence, it is very clear the world has only the foggiest of notions of what love is. If it does know, it is not doing it, or the song would not be making the statement of need. Love is a much abused term. Because of our experiences, we all have somewhat different ideas about it. The most prevalent notion in the Western world is that love is a warm, topsy-turvy feeling, a thrill one gets in the pit of the stomach or a tingle running up and down the spine. We think of it as a warm sense of regard, a strong desire to be with or be satisfied by someone or something.
Some have equated it with caring, benevolent giving or nothing more than sheer emotionalism. On occasion, we use the term very casually and loosely. People express their “love” for the liturgy of a certain church. Some will say they just “love” ice cream, a certain beer, pizza, style of house, color, automobile, fashion, performer or team. People say they love an endless number of things. What some call “love” a theologian might call unbridled lust.
But these statements become ridiculous once we begin to understand what biblical love is. People’s “love” of something is merely an opinion, a preference. A preference is not love, and to use “love” in this way devalues it.
To care about something is not love either. One can care to the point of obsession or lust. A measure of caring must be a part of true love, but by itself, that caring feeling or preference is not love.
What Is this Love?
Date: Saturday, 27th January 2007
Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: 28, Jalan PJS 10/1, Subang Indah, Selangor.
(2 bus stop after Sunway Pyramid)