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Loving Others


“God loves us more than a father, mother, friend, or any else could love, and even more than we are able to love ourselves…We need to understand as human beings that our personal value and the value of our so-called accomplishments is first and foremost rooted in God’s love for us.” (St. John Chrysostom, Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)

“The challenge then is to take our sense of Godliness and transfer it over to every encounter with every person we meet today, to see God in them, and to love them in the way we love God, the way God loves us.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Love needs to be sincere. And only the love of God is sincere love. To a person whom we find tiresome and troublesome, love needs to be offered in a subtle manner without the person being aware that we are striving to love him. It shouldn’t be given much outward expression, because then the person will react. Silence saves us from all evils.” (St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalivite)

“...there are certainly times when people need to be corrected for their own good. When these occasions arise, we must make sure the correction is given in the spirit of love, so the delivery does not get in the way of the message. Priests, parents, bosses, and sometimes even friends may be called upon to offer such counsel, but the spirit of love must always remain central to the message…If we truly wish to help someone, we offer good and kind thoughts, speak with words of love and encouragement, and pray for her. We are not doing her a favor by serving as her self-appointed therapist. Words of encouragement are far more likely to help the person than negative and critical feedback.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Let Christ’s love motivate you to love other Christians and to express that love in your actions toward them.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 1:7-8)

“The farther Christians remove themselves from the spirit of their faith, the more they become divided by self-love; the more they are absorbed in themselves, the lesser community they have in spiritual and material blessings.” (St. John of Krondstat)

“The path of forgiveness, of love towards those who hate us, of unrequited generosity and thanksgiving for all things, represents a decision to step away from the protected life of the guarded self. It accepts injustice towards the self, the loss of what is rightfully due, and giving what is not deserved or merited. None of this would be possible to us apart from the example of Christ and our mystical union with Him.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

"I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. ...I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life -- namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things." (C. S. Lewis)

“Only through the power of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying acquisition of a humble and contrite heart does love gain the upper hand, and we are victorious in our struggle against selfwill.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“If anyone could see his own vices accurately without the veil of self-love, he would worry about nothing else in life…Love consumes us only in the measure of our self-surrender.” (St. John Climacus, St. Therese of Lisieux)

“The great condescension of the Son of God in becoming a man serves eternally as a perfect model of humility and self-giving love." (Foundation Study Bible, Isaiah 9:7)

“As we grow in our relationship with God, we should experience a revolutionary change in our attitudes toward people… The more we love people, the more our differences disappear.” (Bill Hybels, Metropolitan Joseph)

“Because every human person is impressed with the Divine Image, this is the fundamental reason for the dignity of every human person…When people respond in love to each other, they cover over the sins or offenses that would otherwise come between them.” (Deacon and Fellow Pilgrim, Foundation Study Bible, Proverbs 10:12)

"By learning to recognize the Divine Presence within ourselves, we also learned to recognize the Divine Presence within others and recognize our unity within the Body of Christ." (Deacon and Fellow Pilgrim)

“Times like ours call for us to become spiritually fit so we can be beacons of light among those who have lost all hope. The challenges we all face are not for the faint of heart. The spiritually fit can triumph over anything, and we must continue to encourage this new generation of young people to be prepared for whatever may be coming. Those who have developed a strong faith must be willing to share their faith-based strength with those who are on the edge.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“St. Paul notes that “faith works through love” (Gal. 5:6). This describes the very heart of the ascetic life. Only love extends itself in the self-emptying struggle against the passions without becoming lost in the solipsism of asceticism for its own sake. It is love that endures the contradictions of reality without turning away or reducing them. And it is love that finally comprehends the reality hidden within the contradictions that confront us.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“If we are not willing to endure hardship for God and neighbor, if we refuse to practice asceticism, we will always be too weak and selfish to practice perfect and selfless love. True love and compassion mean self-denial.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Love comes from God (1 John 4:7). We’re not very good at this kind of loving, and the only way we can be is through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit.” (Foundation Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13)

“If you find that there is no love in you, but you want to have it, then do deeds of love, even though you do them without love in the beginning. The Lord will see your desire and striving and will put love in your heart." (St. Ambrose of Optina)

“The ultimate goal of Christ's prayer, and indeed of life itself, is for the love of the Father to dwell in each person.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 17:26)

“Generalities exist only in our minds. We do not experience the “love of man.” We can only love this man, or that woman. Because human beings and their lives are utterly unique, the greater the distance we place between ourselves and those of whom we treat, the less accurate we are.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“An exaggerated fear is equipped with binoculars; it tends to magnify dangers that are a great distance away, making small threats appear large." (H. Norman Wright)

“Pray that God will bless you with patience and wisdom to help you negotiate your way through the many toxic, potentially destructive thoughts and feelings you will encounter. The truth is, disappointment, regrets, resentment, anger, and feelings and thoughts of betrayal are all part of the territory, and they can create emotional distance…” (Rev. Fr. Charles Joanides, Ph.D., LMFT)

“Saint Paul’s words challenge us to consider our relationships within the church communities of which we are members. We are to conduct ourselves in a loving manner toward all (1 Corinthians 16:14)…we are to extend love to “all in Christ Jesus” (vs. 24). Indeed, we should feel challenged by these words, for we are all too familiar with how polite distance, cliques, diffidence, or formalism often divide us.” (Dynamis 8/30/2015)

“People who have the same goal, and who strive towards the ‘one thing needful’, have oneness of soul; and they never feel the distance of separation. And no matter how great that distance is, it can never be the cause of hindrance to that spiritual closeness uniting these people in oneness of soul." (St. John Maximovitch)

“What you say and what you don’t say are both important….We dare not be careless with what we say, thinking it can be apologize later, because even if we do, the scars remain. A few words spoken in anger can destroy a relationship that took years to build. Before you speak, remember that words are like fire – you can neither control nor reverse the damage they do.” (Life Application Study Bible, James 3:2,3,6)

“The root of the verb learn is mathete, which also forms the noun disciple. It implies training in what is good through practice, reflection, correction, with much repetition so that the good developed within manifest in loving actions and healing relationships.” (Dynamis 1/5/13)

“…love your enemies, bless those who curse tou, and do good to those that hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you...” (Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:44-45)

“We must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves—to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured: in fact, to wish his good. That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.” (C.S. Lewis)

“…if we are ever tempted to think poorly about someone, or worse yet, act poorly toward someone, because of their race, economic bracket, looks or characteristics, we should correct our thinking and always try to remember when we look at someone that God loves them as much as He loves us. Love doesn’t mean we have to like everyone. But it does means we should treat everyone with dignity and respect and do our best in whatever encounter we have with them to be mindful and solicitous of their well-being.” (Sacramental Living)

“We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show love to those for whom we not feel love.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 5:43, 44)

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31)

“Broken relationships hinder our relationship with God…We are hypocrites if we claim to love God while we hate others. Our attitudes toward others reflect our relationship with God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 5:23.24)

“God created us out of love, gave us free will out of love, and redeemed us through Christ, God in the flesh, out of love. The rest is up to us. We can accept His love in our hearts and grow Christ-like as demonstrated by our faith and actions toward others or we can reject it. God does not force us to love Him or force us to do anything. He loves us too much for that.” (Sacramental Living)

“I think perhaps the best way to even comprehend but a little of God’s love is to understand that He is complete within Himself and has absolutely no need to create us or anything else except that He did so simply out of love. He wishes to give us life and free will. He wishes for us to exist and have joy.” (Sacramental Living)

“We were created in love by God and for God. God reveals this to us at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis when He creates Eve so Adam would have both an equal and a helper as the Scripture states. Even with God by his side in paradise with the animals and nature, Adam felt alone without other human beings. God then created Eve. All humans came from the union of man and woman and depend on that relationship. God created all of us to both help each other and receive help in this life.” (Sacramental Living)

“…we must be careful not to spurn those who reach out to us…Suffering silently is neither Christian not particularly healthy. Instead, accept graciously the support and help from family and friends.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 102:6,7)

“’Sincere love’ involves selfless giving; a self-centered person can’t truly love. God’s love and forgiveness free you to take your eyes off yourselves and meet others’ needs.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Peter 1:22)

“It will not bother me in the hour of death to reflect that I have been"had for a sucker” by any number of impostors: but it would be a torment to know that one had refused even one person in need” (C.S. Lewis)

“For many of us the great obstacle to charity lies not in our luxurious living or desire for more money, but in our fear—fear of insecurity. This must often be recognized as a temptation. Sometimes our pride also hinders our charity; we are tempted to spend more than we ought on the showy forms of generosity (tipping, hospitality) and less than we ought on those who really need our help.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Let your pride become humility and your insensitivity give way to genuine affection for others.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Peter 3:8, 9)

“Too often we rush through our days, barely touching anyone’s life…we should take the time to weave our lives into others’ through close personal relationships.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Timothy 4:19-22)

“Our thoughts and actions must be motivated by love and we must be careful about judging others.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 9:42)

“We should never do anything for self-aggrandizement or worldly recognition but only for the honor we have from God. This is not easy for us. We do not want our brave deeds to go unnoticed. We want valor with renown, not without. But rather than give into this desire, we should toil silently without calling attention to ourselves.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

“Goodness, which is motivated by love, is the ability to step outside oneself, to have a vision of what will benefit the world to come, and to seek after it without any thought of the self.” (Linda Greenwood)

“Let us never underestimate the power of simply being with the ones we love in time of terrible trial and the comfort our presence gives them.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

“To love others is an act of faith, especially to love them as God loves – sacrificially.” (Dynamis 11/5/2012)

“…faith expresses itself through love…” (Life Application Study Bible, Galatians 5:6)

“We get the sense that God does not want merely more individuals of the human species; he also wants the world to be filled with a human society. He could have just spoken the word and created millions of people in thousands of human settlements, but he didn’t. He made it our job to develop and build this society.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“The Lord calls us to humble ourselves, to love one another, and to forgive as we are forgiven. Quarreling, resentment and discord are contrary to commitment in Christ.” (Dynamis 11/16/2012)

“….comfort each other.” Behind much of the anger in the Church and the world is great fear and pain. Rather than fight, let us assuage fear by bringing comfort to others. (Dynamis 11/16/2012)

“One of the best ways to stifle Christ’s love is to be friendly with only those people what we are like.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 2:14-22)

“The light of God shining through one human being who knows the Lord spreads to another and another and another. Christ the Light of the world enables those He enlightens to worship, praise and give thanks. They are renewed and they renew many more.” (Dynamis 11/17)

“It does on good to see the fine side of people we’ve always seen the worst of.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Those who live for themselves display these common attitudes: (1) Materialism – I want it and work hard to get it. All that I see is real. Unseen things are merely ideas and dreams. (2) Individualism – I work hard for me and you work hard for you. I may make it; you may not. That’s your problem, not mine. (3) Skepticism – Anything I’m not convinced about can’t be important. Everything important to know I can figure out.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 17:33)

“The DNA of self-centeredness and competitive pride are at work deep in each of us…no one can live entirely out of the pure impulse to serve the interests of other people at all times. Even the most loving, morally beautiful people fall prey to motives of self-interest, fear, and glory seeking.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“We would not have a happy life if we spent it entirely on ourselves. Instead, God places us in this time and place to succor particular people. Such service is the path He has prepared for us all, and we must walk upon it as faithfully as possible.” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

“…we must consider the needs of others and not just our own…when you act selflessly, others are encouraged to follow your example.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ruth 1:8,9)

“The Kingdom of God spreads through believers concern and eagerness to help others.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 8:3-6)

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)

“I am often, I believe, praying for others when I should be doing things for them. It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see him.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Never forget people are not categories nor are they only a few views they support – they are persons. Being a person means you have many dimensions to yourself not just your political views. Think of an experience you may have had when you disliked people based on a view they were vocal about but then as you got to know them you found you liked them or at least understood better their view because you got to know them personally.” (Sacramental Living)

“When you are not feeling particularly friendly but know you ought to be, the best thing you can do, very often, is to put on a friendly manner and behave as if you were a nicer person than you actually are. And in a few minutes, as we have all noticed, you will be really feeling friendlier than you were." (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

“My experience has been that it is enough of a daily struggle to wrestle with my own doubts and wrong inclinations that creep into my thought and to try to be like Christ to everyone I encounter.” (Sacramental Living)

“…we believe we should be engaged and should transform the world through good deeds that are a natural outgrowth of our faith…These deeds of love and kindness, whether great in the eyes of the world or unnoticed, are all important to God and represent each one of us doing our part.” (Sacramental Living)

“He [God] is concerned with every aspect of life – the physical as well as the spiritual. As we work to bring wholeness to people’s lives, we must never ignore the fact that all of us have both physical and spiritual needs. It is impossible to minister effectively to one type of need without considering the other.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 9:13-14)

“Our care for others is the measure of our greatness.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 9:48)

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

“Many people – even Christians – live only to make a good impression on others or to please themselves…When working together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our problems, we demonstrate Christ’s example of putting others first (and His true example of humility), and we experience unity…We are to lay aside selfishness and treat others with respect and common courtesy.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 2:1-5)

"Unity does not mean uniformity… If we look around and see all of the variety of plants, animals and people, it seems clear that God must delight in variety …We are all the same in essence but unique in our persons. We too should live in unity made up of our diversity and in a loving state where we care for one another in the spirit of community.” (Sacramental Living)

“Speak the truth in love. This sounds simples but it seems so hard for us to do. Some of us are fairly good at speaking the truth, but we forget to be loving. Some of us are good at being loving, but we don’t have it in us to level with others if the truth is painful…Speak the truth but do it in a loving manner.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 4:15)

“Think of the numerous ways to speak the truth: in detachment, bluntly, punishingly, with a superior attitude, or with a love rising from personal experience and thanksgiving… with full personal involvement and concern for others’ illumination and well-being” (Dynamis 9/27)"There is no motive in love except complete desire for the well-being of another…” (Sacramental Living)

“… it [love] does means we should treat everyone with dignity and respect and do our best in whatever encounter we have with them to be mindful and solicitous of their well-being.” (Sacramental Living)

“We are called to caring; we are not to limit ourselves just to the financial giving of philanthropies, charitable donations, and other altruism. We are to extend charity into all our relationships and into every encounter with others.” (Dynamis 9/22/2012)

“Many people associate charity with the false idea that leading a saintly life requires certain types of sacrifice and giving in order to care for others, or perhaps even a complete alteration of one’s manner of life…Not at all. It is necessary only to do...those things which present themselves to everyone in the circumstances of life… It is for the good of our spouse, our children, our neighbors, the checker at the market, or the receptionist at a front desk that we are to extend care; it is in many, little contacts.” (Dynamis 9/22/2012)

“It is easy to say we love God when that love doesn’t cost us anything more than weekly attendance at religious services. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat people right in front of us…” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 4:20, 21))

“Love is a movement out of narcissism. The true opposite for of love is not hate but egocentrism, for hate can be rechanneled back into love, but egocentrism prevents us from ever moving out of ourselves to each other. Love is extinguished more quickly by apathy and indifference than it is by either jealously or wrath.’ (Professor Louis Markos)

"If we seek to live the gospel, we must love more than just our family and friends…” (Ed Strauss)

“If the good of our family, not God, is our highest ideal, we may think ourselves as being loving and doing right because we are taking care of our own properly, but this is not enough. If our family, and not God, is our center, we will tend to care less for other families.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"[The commandment]…’you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself’ must be understood more clearly as ‘you shall love your neighbor as being yourself’. How much we love ourselves is not the standard by which Christ is calling us to love others. Rather, we are called to love our neighbor as being of the same nature as we ourselves are…we find our true self in loving our neighbor.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 22:39)

“You cannot truly love if you think only of yourself.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 24:12)

“Think of yourself by yourself on a desert island for the rest of your life. How much love could you express with no one else to love? Not much because self-love is not love.…love is a way of being not an emotion. It is a genuine concern for another’s welfare…Some people express how sorry they feel for people who are poor and hungry but also never give any of their money or time to help. Thoughts and feelings that do not translate into actions reduce love to emotion or sentiment.” (Sacramental Living)

“Personal contact with God’s people always is a challenge...We have to maintain love for others…Personal relationships require considering others' needs, problems, moods, and lifeconcerns. In order to love, we are forced to step outside ourselves, consider the lifecircumstances of others, and deliberately choose kind and thoughtful ways we may tender service to them. Personal movement from self to other is a commitment to loving"in Christ.” It demands struggle to move toward the Lord’s standard of self-giving, in hope of refreshing others in their hearts, recognizing that it may entail death to our own needs and desires.” (Dynamis 9/1/2012)

“The Apostle Paul commands us to ‘live for Christ (2 Cor 5:15). But his command radically opposes the common, every day expectations we meet so often: to fit in, to be nice and to adapt. Truthfully, these are purveyors of the common culture who encourage us to enjoy ourselves, be pleasant, contribute a"fair share” to society, assist others, and generally meet the expectations of employers, families, friends, and society. To tell the truth, they actually are currying the cheap desires of self-satisfaction, self-esteem, in us.” (Dynamis 8/20/2012)

“The crucial factor for enabling us to"live for Christ” is to cast off efforts to look good. That is the way of the world. Strive, rather, to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts that we may hear the Lord speaking in us - in the depth of our being.” (Dynamis 8/20/2012)

“Love is the way of life in Christ.” (Dynamis 8/20/2012)

“…we should all remember that love is a way of being not an emotion. Love is relational. Our growth in Christ is due to our relationship with Him – nothing else. Our entire faith is built on this understanding." (Sacramental Living)

“We must be careful to avoid making judgments about a person because God may be working in ways we know nothing about.” (Life Application Study Bible, Job 42:2-4)

“Serving people requires a sacrifice of time and personal desires. Being Christ’s follower means serving others, even when they do not measure up to our expectations.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:5)

“Our responsibility is to let people see God through us.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:7)

“When dealing with people, it is more important to love and understand them than to analyze them or give advice. Compassion produces greater results than criticism or blame.” (Life Application Study Bible, Job 26:2-4)

"The gifts of the spirit, wonderful as they are, are temporary and incomplete. They are for this age, while we are"children.” But love continues into the age to come; it is eternal, complete and fulfilling.” (Orthodox Study Bible)

“Spiritual people must be careful not to pursue self-development at the expense of broken, lost people. When we give too much attention to our own needs, ideas, spiritual expression, we may push aside the Spirit’s true desire and abandon those who need encouragement. Follow Pauls’ advice and make encouraging and edifying others the highest goal.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 14:9)

"…Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth…it is one thing when God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves; it is another to actually do it.” (1 John 3:18, Dynamis 1/9/2015)

"Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained." (C. S. Lewis)

"The greatest act of love is giving oneself for others. How can we"give up our lives”? By serving others with no thought of receiving anything in return. Sometimes it is easier to say we’ll die for others than to truly live for them—this involves putting others’ desires first.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 3:16)

“...the best preparation for loving the world at large, and loving it duly and wisely, is to cultivate an intimate friendship and affection towards those who are immediately about us." (Cardinal John Henry Newman)

“We have a difficult time loving those who love us, let alone those who hate us.” (Fr Stephen Freeman)

"The claim that"God is love” is unique to Christianity. Other monotheists believe that one God means one person— and there can be no true love without more than one person. Polytheists believe there are many distinct divine natures— and there can be no true love without a union of persons. God can be love only if He is Trinity, and therefore only Trinitarians can truly profess that"God is love.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“The Trinity is the image of love, and unity in diversity and diversity in unity.” (Timothy Ware)"The Holy Trinity is one in essence, yet each Person of the Trinity is distinguished by personal characteristics. Relating this to us, one God in three Persons dwelling in perpetual love is the highest example of how we should live with one another. We are all the same in essence but unique in our persons. We too should live in unity made up of our diversity and in a loving state where we care for one another in the spirit of community.” (Sacramental Living,)

"Even the Christian doctrine of God as triune [Father, Son and Holy Spirit], consisting of three persons who have known and loved one another from all eternity, demonstrates that relationships of love are the building blocks of all reality” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Think of yourself by yourself on a desert island for the rest of your life. How much love could you express with no one else to love? Not much because self-love is not love.…love is a way of being not an emotion. It is a genuine concern for another’s welfare…Some people express how sorry they feel for people who are poor and hungry but also never give any of their money or time to help. Thoughts and feelings that do not translate into actions reduce love to emotion or sentiment.” (Sacramental Living)

“Being gentle does not exclude being firm. Jesus was firm... The scriptures reveal … that Christ most often took a gentle approach toward His hearers. His words were intoned with love and consideration, not anger and wrath…When we are authentically gentle, we are simultaneously bold and courageous. Gentleness is not associated with being a doormat.” (Albert S. Rossi, Father George Morelli)

"Many of us don’t have an image of ourselves like the image God has of us. We don’t have a strong sense of loving gentleness toward ourselves. Hence, we get into a performance mentality, a mindset that tightens our brow, flexes our mental muscle, and tries to do too much, not because God is calling us to do so much, but because pride and ego want to perform better. Yes, we can be gentle with ourselves within an ascetical life of integrity.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“In social encounters where love, gentleness, kindness, and thoughtfulness are mocked, we are to love others beyond the standard of reciprocity (Luke 6:32). We are to do good even when the majority do not return favors (Luke 6:33), and lend when we have no reasonable assurance of repayment (Luke 6:34)…Our Lord places the lofty standards of heaven before us, insisting we rise above our self-serving nature.” (Dynamis 10/5/2014)

"Learn from your own experience to sympathize [empathize] with those in trouble, and never to terrify with destructive despair those who are in danger, nor harden them with severe speeches, but rather restore them with gentle and kindly consolations..." (St. John Cassian)

“Empathy provides energy to others because it makes them aware that we understand their suffering and don’t judge, condemn, or try to fix their problems. Sympathy… takes on the feelings and pain of others in an effort to identify with their plight...A person who is a healing presence to another person provides empathy in abundance without accepting or expressing sympathy. Sympathy…simply magnifies the problem. Sympathy is codependence and pride in disguise. If someone else is feeling depressed, it doesn’t do him or her any good if I become sympathetic and take on the depressed feelings. Other people need hope and strength, not another depressed person to pull them deeper into darkness.” (Albert S. Rossi)

"...love is a word Christians [and people in general] throw around a great deal. All the time I hear people say,"Love is all that matters,” or something to that effect. But rarely do we consider that love is not that easy." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Everyone believes that love is important, but love is usually thought of as a feeling. In reality, love is a choice and an action...God’s love always involves a choice and an action, and our love should be like His…God calls us to genuine love that goes far beyond pretense and politeness. Genuine love requires concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people. It demands our time, money, and personal involvement.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 4:7-21, Romans 12:9-10)

"So often when we say ‘I love you,’ we say it with a large ‘I’ and a small ‘you.' We use love as a conjunction instead of it being a verb implying action.” In loving God we encounter this same gulf between outward form and true substance, unless we can arrive at"that time when there is a longing in the heart for God Himself, not for His gifts, but God Himself." (Metropolitan Anthony Bloom)

"We are in danger of falling into one of two extremes: One is to love everyone without loving God; the other is to love God without really loving everyone. It has to be both...” (Anthony De Mello)

“Love is more important than knowledge. Knowledge can make us look good and feel important, but we can all too easily develop an arrogant, know-it-all attitude. Many people with strong opinions are unwilling to listen to and learn from God and others. We can obtain God’s knowledge only by loving Him (see James 3:17-18). And we can know and be known by God only when we model Him by showing love (1 John 4:7-8).” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 8:1-3)

“God structures the world so that love for others is the true foundation of every flourishing human interaction…We learn from Love how to love, by striving to love like Him above all else…He who remains in love, remains in God: where love is; there is God also (Dynamis 3/25/2015, 7/20/2015, Saint Paisius Velichkovsky)

“Love is the greatest of all human qualities and is an attribute of God himself (1 John 4:8). Love involves unselfish service to others. Faith is the foundation and content of God’s message; hope is the attitude and focus; love is action. When faith and hope are in line, you are free to love completely because you understand how God loves.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:13)

“He who loves God both believes truly and performs the works of faith reverently. But he who only believes and does not love, lacks even the faith he thinks he has; for he believes merely with a certain superficiality of intellect and is not energized by the full force of love’s glory. The chief part of virtue, then, is faith energized by love." (St. Diadochos of Photiki)

“Focusing intently on Christ naturally results in a lifestyle of greater and greater selflessness…Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays.” (Charles Swindoll, Andrew Murray)

“...to love as God loves. Such love is the gift of pure prayer.” (Brock Bingaman and Bradley Nassif)

“We are not held accountable to God for every need in this world. The parable of the Good Samaritan informs our understanding of the words"to all.” The one we are to help is the one we find in need on the road. He is my neighbor (Lk 10:29). Pray for guidance and wisdom concerning all appeals.” (Dynamis 9/16/2015)

“God wants us to be aware always of the people next to us. It’s not enough to work honestly and industriously, for Christ calls us to be a priesthood of believers who willingly take responsibility for those who are our neighbors. God calls the laity to do a job the clergy cannot do in many instances.” (Bruce Larson)

"...old scriptural language showed so sharp a wisdom when they spoke, not of one’s duty towards humanity, but one’s duty towards one’s neighbor. The duty towards humanity may often take the form of some choice which is personal or even pleasurable...But we have to love our neighbor because he is there—a much more alarming reason for a much more serious operation. He is the sample of humanity which is actually given us. Precisely because he may be anybody he is everybody. He is a symbol because he is an accident.” (G.K. Chesterton)

“...love for one’s neighbor is an old command...We can show love in many ways: by avoiding prejudice and discrimination; by accepting people; by listening, helping, giving, serving, and refusing to judge. Knowing God’s command is not enough. We must put it into practice"doing what God has commanded us…Imagine the domino effect in the world if everyone actually ‘loved their neighbors’ – if they really focused on the persons near them and their local community.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 John 1:5-6, Sacramental Living II)

“If they [our children] do not see in their parents a Christian who is quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, and quick to give to the poor, they will not see Christ. If they do not see in a parent one who loves his neighbor, as Christ commanded, they will not see the Christ who changes and transforms lives.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"Christ forms us into a body—into a group of individuals who are united in their purpose and in their love for one another and for the Lord. If an individual stumbles, the rest of the group is there to pick that person up and help him or her walk with God again.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 4:15,16)

“Paul does not look at the Christian as an isolated individual walking toward perfection, but as a member of the body, striving to reach the perfect faith and full knowledge of the Son of God." (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 4:11-16)

“As persons created in the image of God, we were created not only for communion with God, but with one another as well. In fact, we cannot be fully human apart from our relationships with others.” (Clark Carlton)

“If we think we love God but don’t love people, we are fooling ourselves…The Ten Commandments themselves all are about love. The first four are about loving God and our relationship with Him, but the next six, that is the majority, are about our loving relationships with each other.” (Sacramental Living)

“As Christians, we should never lose sight that all of us are one family in Christ, that is God’s spiritual family, and it does not matter if we are related by blood or not. Some of the most touching stories in the Bible that also resulted in great blessing are between people that bonded spiritually as a family but were not related by blood.” (Sacramental Living)

“Our goal should be to have a right relationship with God and also with others…Our thoughts and actions must be motivated by love...and we must be careful about judging others...However, we also have a responsibility to confront flagrant sin within the church." (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Timothy 2:8, Mark 9:42)

“The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or—if they think there is not—at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” (C. S. Lewis)

"That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him: wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.” (C. S. Lewis)

“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick along side it.” (D. L. Moody)

"The Lord and His prophets and apostles lived in a culture that often used salt to ratify everyday agreements. Salt symbolizes fidelity and constancy. When the Lord Jesus announces that"every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt,” He tells us that genuine trials cannot be successfully met without fidelity and constancy. The way to be ready for fire is to train ourselves in the practice of stability. The Holy Spirit offers this gift to the earnest, struggling Christian. Our Lord identifies the salt of faithfulness as a means to"peace with one another.” (Dynamis 1/20/2014)

“Love is able to give tough advice; it doesn’t hedge on the truth. Christ loved us enough to die for us, and He also loves us enough to talk straight to us.” (Life Application Study Bible' Mark 10:21)

"In most areas of life, we all are concerned with the truth...Yet it seems that when it comes to questions of religion and spirituality and the accompanying moral questions, we as a culture quite suddenly become relativists.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

"Love is not a thing of enthusiastic emotion. It is a rich, strong...vigorous expression of the whole round Christian character—the Christlike nature in its fullest development.” (Henry Drummond)

“God wants us to be real and transparent in all our relationships.” (Life Application Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 1:12-14)

“Without love, prayer is of no benefit, advice is hurtful and pointing out errors is harmful and destructive to the other person who senses whether we love him or not and reacts accordingly." (Elder Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite)

“One must strive to have a good opinion of everyone. Only God is the Knower of hearts. We cannot infallibly judge people…He who sufficiently knows and judges himself has no time to judge others.” (St. Hilarion of Optina, St. Philaret of Moscow)

“Our judgments of others often arise because of something within ourselves that we reject. Often when we become aware of these patterns of judgment we discover something of our own selflimits.” (Christine Valters Paintner)

“Many times Christians base their moral judgments on opinion, personal dislikes, or cultural bias rather than on the Word of God. When they do is they show that their own faith is weak." (Life Application Study Bible, Romans 14:10-12)

“...we have no business judging others' practices based on our own ideas, prejudices, or cultural heritage. These things cause us to lose sight of the fact that we are united in Christ, who is our one Lord and Judge." (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 14:7-10)

“Love every man in spite of his falling into sin. Never mind the sins, but remember that the foundation of the man in the same—the image of God." (St. John of Kronstadt)

“Love towards one’s brother cultivates love towards God. We are happy when we secretly love all people. Then we will feel that everyone loves us. No one can attain to God unless he first passes through hi