How would you like to go through life pretending you knew what love is? Although love is a familiar, often-used word, what we mean when we use it is not always clear. Obviously, “I love pizza” conveys a different feeling than does “I love God.” This book views love as an action, as something we do. It is more than an emotion—it is the only human sentiment that is completely expressed in positive concern for the welfare of others. Four kinds of love are differentiated: these are eros, the language of romance; storge, family or parental love; philia, brotherly love; and agape, the love of and for God. Unfortunately, the English language uses only one word to describe all four kinds.
Two descriptive aspects of love’s relation to helping have evolved. First, love involves more or less sympathy with the loved one. Second, the one who loves manifests a desire to enhance the well-being and psychological growth of the beloved.
Love has been more widely researched and written about than has helping. Love as a helping relationship has received even less attention. This book views love and helping as being synonymous. The first two chapters discuss the nature of human behavior and the purpose of our lives—i.e., God’s plan for our lives. The next two chapters examine the nature of helping relationships, and the joy and benefits of helping others. Also discussed are helping in secret, helping others grieve, why we don’t help others in need, and choosing our destiny.