These are the words of the first line of Dionne Warwick’s 1966 popular record. Considering the negativity of the social environment today, the song might rise to the top of the charts again if it were re-released. Certainly, it could not be more appropriate considering the contentious atmosphere of today’s society when many people seem always to be right on the edge of rage. One wonders how we got to this point. What happened to the spirit of hoping and wishing the best to our fellow men and neighbors in earlier times?
Ironically, opposed to the contentiousness of the present environment, is the main characteristic of the religion of Jesus Christ in its emphasis on the Love of God and the moral obligation we have, to seek peace and harmony with our fellow man. Even common sense tells us that Loving God and people would more productive than digging up the decayed bones of past errors and injustices that only reopen the scars of forgotton wounds again. Sincerely, objectively, and individually striving to improve our social behavior in the future rather than the pervasive obsession with past mistakes for which it is not possible to undo or retract, would result in much better results.
The Word of God urges Christians to forgive and love one another instead of holding grudges. 1 John 4:7-9, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love”. The last phrase of this verse is significant in that it tells us that God is love personified (and therefore the source of love). However, the previous phrase is also significant. “He who does not love does not know God,”
The 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians in the New Testament written by the great apostle Paul, contains the all-time classic description of human behavior influenced by Divine love. “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. ---And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not arrogant; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in evil, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.
God’s love to man is expressed throughout the Bible. The familiar verse of John 3:16 is the most concise expression of it. Jesus said. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.
To His own disciples Jesus specifically said-- “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." (John 13:34-35).
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association