Years ago, a lilting tune said that the world needed love, sweet love. The writer said love was the only thing of which there was too little. A simple tune, it was, but its simplicity carried a powerful message.
Truth be told, I’ve been so busy writing the new book that I was going to take a shortcut this morning and rework an old blog to ease my workload. But considering the state of the world, I couldn’t bring myself to do that. We’re in desperate days. I feel a sense of urgency to address what’s happening. I can’t remain silent.
A few weeks ago, the mantra heard was, “We’re all in this together.” We locked down, canceled flights, weddings, and school. We grieved loved ones alone, lost our jobs, and lost the privilege of meeting to worship. We shut stores and gyms and playgrounds. Bringing life to a grinding halt became our strategy to fight a common enemy: COVID-19.
Fighting the common enemy awoke something in us. Our frenetic daily pace was gone, we began to see others through new eyes. We began practicing kindness—fetching groceries for those more vulnerable, reaching out via Zoom to others in isolation, calling others just to touch base. We realized that there’s more to life than what we see with our eyes. We recognized afresh the importance of human connection.
But the fight also revealed something else in humanity. It’s been there all along, but it’s particularly obvious now. What is it? The evil hidden in the human heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” It seems it’s becoming obvious to all.
A couple of nights ago on the local news, I watched footage of a young woman crossing a public patio. A senior Asian woman using a walker approached nearby. The young woman suddenly changed direction, came behind the senior and knocked her in the back of her knees. The older woman lost her balance and tumbled to the concrete. The assailant turned and walked away as though nothing had happened. Why it took weeks for this footage to be shown on the news is anyone’s guess.
We see footage of what’s happening in the United States. George Floyd’s death has given further revelation to the evil hidden in the human heart. This tragedy is only one piece of a bigger picture, though. It seems our society has gone mad in its pursuit of self-love.
We loot and burn and destroy other people’s livelihoods under the guise of social justice. Further from today’s news but still indicative of the evil in the human heart, we abuse our power and positions to take advantage of others. We buy and sell human beings like commodities. We make laws that say it’s okay to kill on demand and then remove funding from facilities that refuse to comply. We take the lives of unborn children and call this an essential service. This is craziness!
Calling in the military to dominate the dissenters will not make things right. Providing funding to help alleviate our society and our personal lives from those whose presence might inconvenience our pursuit of happiness will not make society better. We’re a mess. And there’s only one way to fix this.
We need to understand that people are not the enemy. Their skin might not be the same color as ours, and they might not share the same values, but they’re not the enemy. We’re at war alright, but it’s with a common foe who’s bent on destroying our souls—“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). The devil is real, and he wants to take out every man, woman, and child on the planet. And right now, it feels like he’s pulling out all the stops by stirring anger and violence and a whole lot of self-love.
What the world needs now is love. Not self-love. We’ve tried that since the dawn of time and it hasn’t worked so well. We need to get over ourselves and learn to love others despite the differences. We need to learn to love even when it costs us something.
Trouble is, the human heart being inherently evil isn’t capable of such love on its own. We can only begin to truly love others when we begin to understand how much God loves us. And wow—did it ever cost Him!
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God loved the world—every man, woman, and child—enough to send His son to pay the death penalty we deserve for our sin. And heaven only knows the extent of it—greed, lust, unforgiveness, murder, abuse, ingratitude, gossip, lies, cheating, adultery, racism, and the list goes on. None of us can say we’ve never sinned. We’re a mess, beyond hope without His help.
The enemy of our souls wants to destroy us, but God offers a better future. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life,” He says (John 10:10). It begins with the forgiveness of our sin and continues as He recreates our hearts, making us into new people with a fresh start.
If you are dissatisfied and done with the mess, then choose the better way. Talk to God like you would talk to a friend and invite Him to lead you in His way. You can pray something like this:
“God, thank You for loving me and for having a purpose for my life. I believe You sent Jesus to pay my death penalty for sin and that He rose from the dead to purchase a place I heaven for me. Please forgive me. Cleanse my heart from everything that grieves You. Help me live life the way You intended from this day forward. Amen.”
What the world needs now is love. God is love, and we need Him desperately to show us how to love others so we can make this world a better place.
If you prayed that prayer above, please let me know. I’d be happy to provide you with a resource to show you how to grow in your relationship with God.
Written by: Grace Fox
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on gracefox.com.
Featured Image by Ricardo Gomez Angel