You Need More Than Love

St. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Image (cc0)

The Definition is as Important as the Action Behind It

by Eric Elkin

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
— 1 John 3:18

Broadcast on June 25, 1967, Our World was the first live, satellite television event sent out to an international audience. An estimated 400 million people from around the world watched the special event. Popular creative artists from nineteen different nations performed.

However, the two-and-a-half-hour show is best remembered for a performance by the Beatles. They closed the broadcast by playing a new song called, All You Need is Love. The song was a fitting conclusion, not just to the show, but to the summer of 1967. A time most people refer to as, “The Summer of Love.”

All You Need is Love is an incredibly simple song, both in lyrics and in musical composition. The message, though, is enduring. It still finds its way on to radio, television and YouTube clips. But, at the time, it was a political song, perhaps the Beatles first song with a social commentary.

There was one problem with the song.

Rooted in the optimism of the band and the youth culture, it forgot to define love. A reality discovered in 1968 when the U.S. became unglued and its people turned on each other.

The people who protested the war proclaimed to do so out of love for the soldiers. However, the people who supported the war believed the same thing. To them, soldiers in combat needed love and support. The clash in understanding led to hatred on both sides.

Those who protested peacefully did so out of love for their country. Their opponents hated the protests. Why? Out of love for their country. The clash in understanding led to unspeakable violence against each other. It turns out the world needs more than love to be a place of peace and life.

Love needs to be more than a song we sing to the world—and—more than a word we write on a poster. Love needs to be understood as a verb, and as such, needs to be an action. However, it also needs understanding. That is, love considers both sides of a disagreement. It listens to the other and lets the other help define what love is.

Love also needs faith. A trust that God intimately formed the object or person we are to love. While you need more than love, it is an excellent place to start when you don’t know how to respond.

Click to read: 1 John 3: 16-24

Reflection Questions:

  • What is essential to help you love your neighbor?
  • How do you express this love?
  • What prevents you from loving as you should?
  • Where can God help you with the act of loving others?

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