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“The story of ‘the Fall’ is the story of human self-will: we like to do what we want regardless of how our relationships or others are affected by what we do…Adam and Eve felt God was denying them something good by forbidding them to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They are given all of Paradise (the perfect world!) and yet they imagine God is withholding something more from them and they want what they imagine they have been denied rather than rejoicing in and enjoying all that had been given them. So, they gave up all their blessings to pursue their self-love, behavior fairly typical of humanity. We do commiserate with Adam and Eve for we share in their misery which becomes our co-misery.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh, St. John Chrysostom) 

“…Adam and Eve thought their union with God could not be lost and so in self-love they could do whatever they wished without it effecting their relationship to their Creator. They failed to understand union with God was grace and a gift and like a seed had to be nurtured and sustained by maintaining the proper relationship with their Lord, God and Creator. So, they wrongly assumed they had life in themselves rather than understanding that life came from and through union with God. Separated from God they could not continue living as they were dependent on God. Loving themselves led to the loss of God and their reduction to being merely material without the life-sustaining union with God. Thus, death became part of their existence as materiality without union with eternity is death.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh, St. Gregory of Nyssa)

“…much conflict is rooted in self-importance. Everything from sibling rivalry to marriage conflicts to disputes between politicians and hierarchs, so much conflict festers unresolved because self-importance has planted suspicion in our minds. Because we suspect the others, we cannot see our own contribution to the conflict. Like Adam and Eve after their fall, we are sure it is someone else’s fault. Without help from the outside, we spend our life in a sea of conflict that seems always to be someone else’s fault.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“Because when we say, "Thy will be done," and wholly surrender ourselves to God, it is then that the will of God is indeed done. But we, on one hand, say, "Thy will be done," and on the other hand, keep persisting in our own will. Well, what is God supposed to do then?” (Saint Paisios of Mount Athos)

“The self that needs the things of this world to survive is actually the false self. To tell if you are living out of your true self or your false self, ask yourself the following two questions: What do I need in order to be truly me? What conditions need to be realized in order for me to be able to express who I actually am? If the answer is that you need anything from this world before you can truly be yourself, then there is a good chance your true self may have been hijacked by your false self, or ego self. The paradox of Christianity is that we find our true selves not by grasping for good things, but by giving ourselves away (Luke 9:24). The message of the gospel is that we become more truly ourselves when we strive to fulfill the needs of others, preferring other people’s well-being to our own (Matt. 20:16; Rom. 12:10).” (Robin Phillips)

"Self-love and love for God are at polar opposites on the spectrum. Since few of us are entirely free of self-love, we must ask ourselves:"Toward which of these loves am I moving?” We may also be tempted to wonder about others, speculating as to which kind of love is manifested in their lives – in which direction are they moving?” However, we are easily deceived. Many nice people are also very self-serving; they have the outer form of godliness, but choke its roots before they can sink deeply into the heart. There is no objective tests for identifying empty piety. Whenever we assess ourselves and others, we do so from hearts that are not reliable testing instruments. This is why Christ warns us against judging (Mt 7:1)." (Dynamis 2/7/2015)

“We sometimes become so sick with our own self-love that we cannot endure even the slightest contradiction, any spiritual or material obstacle—cannot bear a single harsh word." (St. John of Kronstadt)

"Self-esteem can mean two different things. The first meaning is narcissism. The Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, IV-TR…describes self-esteem as"a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. . ." The second, used mostly by developmental psychologists, defines self-esteem"as being true to [the] real self…However, we can’t be true to the"real self” by our own efforts. We realize our true self by dying to our own concept of self and growing in Christ.” (Sacramental Living II, Father George Morelli)

“To live up to God's perfection means to die to self. No one wants to die to self. This is a painful process. Yet, that is exactly what we are called to do if we are to be God's children. If we live for self, we can't live for God or for others and serve them as Christ served others. The Fathers of the Eastern Church call this the sin of self-esteem. While healthy self-esteem is important, unhealthy self-centeredness is indeed sinful." (Marianne C. Sailus)

"The struggle against self-love is hard, but everything is accomplished with the grace of God." (Elder Joseph the Hesychast)

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