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“We prefer lies over truth, darkness instead of light, and truth only in small measure. The famous movie line “you can’t handle the truth” seems to actually be true. But why is that? Why is it so hard to live truth and why is it so easy to accept anything less than truth as okay? Much of it has to do with condition of our heart as Christ warns us when He says, ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Matthew 6:21). Truth or lies start in our hearts before making their way into the world as actions and behavior.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“When we turn our attention outward, toward the actions and behavior of others, then we evade what lies in our own heart….Here is the heart of our Lord’s teaching which is to be found in Saint Luke’s Gospel: the way to change our hearts from evil to good. The great Healer of the passions prescribes turning inward, toward the condition of our own heart. There we find the source of our disorder, and no longer presume to lead the blind while we are blind and falling into the ditch (Luke 6:39). The Lord Jesus commands, “First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly” (vs. 42).” (Dynamis 10/6/2020)

“The Lord’s style stands in sharp contrast to the approach of the scribes and Pharisees, who focus strictly on action and behavior. Much like the earlier prophets of Israel, the Lord Jesus is intent on cautioning us against “the evil pleasures of [the] heart” (Jer 16:12). If we observe ourselves with care, we find that sinful attitudes and thoughts invariably precede wicked acts. Our external behavior is simply visible evidence that we have already been conquered by sin. Furthermore, corruption of our heart occurs more frequently – and far more universally – than do our overt acts of wrongdoing.” (Dynamis 6/8/2023)

“…we are what we want. Our wants and longings and desires are at the core of our identity, the wellspring from which our actions and behavior flow. Our wants reverberate from our heart, the epicenter of the human person…To be human is to be animated and oriented by some vision of the good life, some picture of what we think counts as “flourishing” And we want that. We crave it. We desire it…our most fundamental mode of orientation to the world is love. We are oriented by our longings, directed by our desires. We adopt ways of life that are indexed to such visions of the good life, not usually because we “think through” our options but rather because some picture captures our imagination. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of The Little Prince, succinctly encapsulates the motive power of such allure: “If you want to build a ship,” he counsels, “don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” (James Smith)

“We might not express our anger…and any other negativity we feel towards another person, and this can be effective, even if it involves repression of these feelings. But no-one can say that we can’t have them in our heart…The notion that other people are affected only by what’s expressed as actions and behavior seems not to be entirely true…there’s the mystic world of our soul which also affects people and things and has a positive or negative impact, whether we recognize this or not. If our soul is under the sway of jealousy, envy, distrust, hatred, or sheer dislike of someone, they’ll sense it in their own soul as if they’re being washed over by ‘negative’ waves, which, naturally, upsets them and destroys their peace of mind. On the other hand, when our soul transmits love, empathy, forgiveness, accompanied by prayer, the other person is mystically on the receiving end of ‘a good force proceeding from us, going to our brother or sister, healing and reviving them’” (Fr. Andreas Agathokleous, St. Porfyrios)

“Christianity is less complicated than many make it out to be The words of the Lord, the words of the gospel message, are very direct and understandable: “Follow Me” (Matt. 4:19); “Come and see” (John 1:46); “Take, eat” (Matt. 26:26); “Seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33). Taking action regarding these words is the hard part. Christ offered His message to everyday people. The disciples of Jesus were working people—fishermen, tax collectors, and so on. Yet the Church deems them wise, not because of their intellectual prowess, but because of their conscious decisions to apply His words to their lives.” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick)

“In Proverbs, wisdom (soph’a) is the understanding of the righteous practice of living in the ways of God…The Septuagint [LXX] highlights this sense when it inserts a helpful addition to verse 7: The LXX explains, “And there is a good understanding in all who practice it” (Proverbs 1:7). The term that the LXX uses for “understanding” is derived from the thought of “putting together.” Those who “understand” have a ready grasp of the nature of things that enables one to put together comprehension with action…the relationship of understanding to practicing it in action is a mutual reciprocity. Understanding and action complete one another. Wisdom gives practical advice for living. On the other hand, the practice of wise counsel gives a “good understanding” (LXX vs. 7), the deep discernment into the nature of reality.” (Fr. Basil) 

“…the salvation of humanity is brought about through the action of God becoming human. The work of Christ’s death and resurrection are not external to our humanity. Rather, their power to work salvation lies precisely in the fact of our communion with Him through the single common human nature that He assumed. Our cooperation with that action completes and makes effective what has been given to the whole of humanity through the God/Man, Jesus Christ. Our cooperation (a choice) is only effective, however, because of the communion established in the Incarnation. Salvation is not a reward given to someone who choses correctly. Salvation is a new life that is lived as a communion, a mutual indwelling (koinonia).” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“…whatever you do, do it for the love of Christ, and let the intention or end of all your actions look to Him. Do nothing for the sake of human praise, but everything for love of God and the desire for eternal life…Lord, you have been our refuge.” But to say it with the same feelings as the prophet is the privilege of few. For there are few who do not admire human interests but depend wholly on God and breathe Him and have all hope and trust in Him. And our actions convict us whenever in our afflictions we run to everything else rather than to God.” (St. Caesarius of Arles, St. Basil the Great)

“When we first united ourselves to Christ, we placed our trust in Him. Every time we extend love to the undeserving, or speak out against fraud and injustice, or refuse to lie, cheat, and indulge our cravings, we are once again trusting in Christ. In these actions we participate in the pastoral work of Christ, with the full authority of God. Such is our powerful, albeit humble, position!” (Dynamis 8/8/2018)

“The Life in Christ, however, is not a life of intention—it is a life of action.” (Archimandrite Irenei)

“Christ’s Resurrection is, strangely, not so much about Christ as it is about Christ’s action.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Our standard for building up others is Christ Himself. His life and example, received and shared with others, will always edify them “according to Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5). Let us measure every scrap of our intentions and actions toward others using the Lord as our standard. In Christ we find sufficient reason to bear with the weaknesses of others (Romans 15:1), be patient (Romans 15:4), and labor at strengthening others in many different ways (vs. 4), sharing with them what we have in Christ (Romans 15:5-6). Our constant aim should be to glorify God and treat others with kindness, remembering how the Lord is kind and merciful to us (Romans 15:7).” (Dynamis 7/15/2018)

“The lesson for us today is that it is not talk that saves us or condemns us, but action. If we speak well, but our actions do not glorify God, then what good are the words? On the other hand, even if we don’t “get it” at first and we do wrong, if we repent and come back and do right, this is what pleases God.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Faith, hope, and love are three Christian virtues Paul links together in other letters (1Co 13:13; Col 1:4, 5). These virtues are connected to actions: faith works, love labors, hope produces patience, showing that salvation goes beyond attitudes to action." (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 1:3)

“The difference has been a tendency in the West to say, “It’s the thought that counts,” while in the East it’s what you actually do that matters.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“‘It’s the thought that counts.’ We have all heard this, but it’s not true. It’s the action that ultimately counts. Christ tells us this Matthew 7:24 and in the Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32). James writes, ‘But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.’ (James 1:22-24). It is easy to deceive ourselves that we do good by having compassionate thoughts but if they don’t translate into compassionate actions what real good are they?” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“We must be people of prayer, Bible study, and worship, but eventually we must get out and do the work God has in mind for us. He wants to change the world through us…” (Life Application Study Bible, Haggai 2:4)

“We always fail in our faith when we reduce it to mere ideas. It is meant to shape our hearts, our homes, and our communities.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“...many great religious heroes were people of action, doers of the word and not just hearers.” (Lillian Daniel)

“Do your actions indicate true faith? Before you fall into discouragement, remember that God knows your heart better than you do. He wants you to be healed. To be free to be the person of faith you were created to be, you will need to choose the dual path of repentance and action—mental assent isn’t enough.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“Our actions speak louder than our words…God will require each person to account for his or her actions.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 1:8, Genesis 9:5)

“Keep in mind that you must always be setting an example through your moral life and your actions. For the sick find and recognize good doctors, not just through their words, but through their actions.” (St. Anthony of Egypt)

“Many of the deepest truths of Christianity become clear when we put our faith into action; in the doing, believing makes sense…When an aspiring saint asked Mother Teresa, “How can I be like you?” her simple response was, “Find your own Calcutta.” She understood the core of the Christian life—the truest knowing comes in the doing.” (David Kinnaman & Gabe Lyons)

“Faith is not just knowledge. It is action. James 2:17 reads “so, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” Works do not save us without faith. Faith and works go together in concert with God’s grace in order for one to attain salvation.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

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