In 1965 Jackie DeShannon sang the song, “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” The world needed love fifty-five years ago, and it needs love today.
May I suggest a few other elements which the world needs today?
The world needs truth. Not propaganda. Not half-truths. Not true things. Truth. Jesus stated plainly that the Father’s word is truth (John 17:17). Those in possession of the truth have an obligation to love it, to live by it, to speak it, and to defend it.
If we love truth, then we will reject that which is false, “I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law” (Psalm 119:163). If we love truth then we will live by it, “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name” (Psalm 86:11). If we love truth then our lives will be characterized by peace and stability (Psalm 119:165). If we love truth, then we will proclaim that truth to others (Romans 1:14, 15). If we love truth, then we will stand in defense of it (Philippians 1:16; 1 Peter 3:15).
We should be people who reject falsehood and stand for that which is true. But we must, with all the skill, love, and enthusiasm we possess, promote the truth of God.
The world needs kindness. Cruelty is rampant. Insults and smears are common. Christians must not practice, reward, or rejoice in such behavior.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast, it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6).
Some defend unkindness by arguing that they are just “telling it like it is.” But in truth that is simply an inadequate excuse for meanness. If we “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), we will find no room for such ugliness, neither will we find it in our hearts to hire someone to be be boastful, arrogant, rude, or resentful for us.
The world needs hope. 2020 has been a rough year. Those who trust in princes (Psalm 146:3), in riches (Proverbs 11:28), or worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19), will certainly find their optimism damaged. The world needs the unwavering joy of heaven-bound souls.
Our hope is laid up in heaven (Colossians 1:5). No virus, recession, pestilence, or war can damage the treasures we lay up there (Matthew 6:20).
As citizens of a heavenly kingdom (Philippians 3:20), the ebbs and flows of worldly kingdoms are ultimately immaterial to our hope. While the pain, sorrow, and loss we feel here are very real, we place our hearts in the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). When we despair, our gaze turns heavenward, and we rely upon the God who has the power over death (2 Corinthians 1:9).
Our world desperately needs people who have been changed by the power of the gospel. We must live lives of truth, kindness, and hope. We must not be conformed to the world, but rather we must allow our transformed lives to permeate throughout the globe.
The world needs you, Christian, to be a beacon of light, drawing people to the truth of Jesus, through words and works of kindness and hope. Will you rise above the lies, the hatred, and the despair to show people what a life truly changed by Christ looks like?