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Love and Treatment of Others

If I cannot see and love Christ in another human being, the result is the same as being cut off from the source of life within myself. Loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind implies loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37 ). We cannot separate these two things.” (Andrew Williams)

“I think of critical importance is to remember that we are not to love others in order to manipulate them. Love is simply to be the choice we make in how we treat anybody. We don’t love others to change how they treat us. We don’t love others to get what we want out of them, that is not love but manipulation. We don’t love others just as the means to get to heaven. Love is given freely regardless of the outcome. Christ never told us to love others to attain some other goal (peace or whatever). Love is to be our default way of interacting with others. But there are times when dealing with an abusive person that the best love we may be able to offer is avoiding them. We may not be able to alter the relationship or end the cycle of revenge, but we can avoid annoying or cursing them. God shows His love for all no matter what the outcome – thus He gives rain and sunshine to both His saints and to those sinners who care nothing about God.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Remember that the Lord is in every Christian. When your neighbor comes to you, always have great respect for him, because the Lord is in him, and often expresses His will through him. ‘It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure‘ (Philippians 2:13). Therefore, do not grudge anything to your brother, but do unto him as unto the Lord; especially as you do not know in whom the Lord will come and visit you; be impartial to all, be kind to all, sincere and hospitable. Remember that sometimes God speaks even through unbelievers, or disposes their hearts towards us, as it happened in Egypt when the Lord gave Joseph favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison (Genesis 39:21-23).” (St. John of Kronstadt)

“…the greatest of reasons you were born: to learn how to love—to love God and to love others. They are the same thing, really. We cannot love God without loving His children. We didn’t come to this earth to make a name for ourselves just so time could erase it. We didn’t come here to compile material possessions just so they could be parceled off and quibbled over at our deaths. We came to learn how to love. The ultimate question God asked was “Did you learn to love? (Richard Paul Evans)

“If we look inside our hearts and find there even a trace of animosity towards others for the wrongs they have done to us, then we should realize that we are still far removed from the love of God. The love of God absolutely precludes us from hating any human being…Christ’s expectation for us is that we follow the law of love rather than that of selfishness.” (St. Maximus the Confessor, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“God’s justice is to allow each of us in the end to experience our behavior towards others. Judgment Day will be our receiving back what we have sown in this life time. Good reason to treat others with love, kindness, hope, and mercy…We are not to treat others as they treat us (retributive justice), as that is allowing them to control our behavior. We end up simply reacting towards others, while love shows us how to act towards others — treat them as we ourselves want to be treated by them. In other words, we are to be examples to them. Our behavior is not to be governed by them, but by love which is something we have to choose.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“…how we treat those who have wronged or offended us reveals the true state of our souls. Our Lord’s healing mercy is transformative and participatory and, if we have embraced His forgiveness, then His gracious divine energies must permeate our lives. He said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” To become radiant with mercy to the point we do not limit our love only to people who treat us well is necessary in order to “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt. 5: 44-48)” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The phrases ‘Love your enemies’, ‘Do good to those who hate you’, ‘Bless those who curse you’, ‘Pray for those who mistreat you’, and ‘If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn the other to them also’ are of great interest. If someone wishes to take your coat, give them your shirt, as well. If someone comes to you as a beggar, don’t refuse to give them something. And if you do give, don’t use the gift against them later. This is a wonderful framework in which to live the Christian life. A continuous expression of love, without bounds or limitations. A new pattern of behavior and a new ethic for our life, which comes as the ripe fruit of the Christian faith. This attitude to living is shaped outside ethical strictures and social compromises. Nor is it a romantic view of life and social relationships. On the contrary, we have a transcendence of personal rights, a sacrifice of individual interests and a conscious disregard for the hostility and wickedness of others. We develop this attitude in full knowledge and awareness. We certainly aren’t naïve because we live in love.” (Georgios Patronos)

“The love of enemies is not a moral matter – rather, it describes a state of being. It is nothing less than a crucified life. As Christ forgives His enemies from the Cross, He reveals the full depth of His divinity. Just as the Father makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, so Christ shines the light of His love on the whole of humanity (“who know not what they do”). There is no union with the crucified Christ that is not also a union in such love. The same observation can be made regarding Christ’s teachings on generosity and kindness. In His person and in His teachings, we see revealed the very heart of God.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“In Christ we find sufficient reason to bear with the weaknesses of others (Romans 15:1), be patient (vs. 4), and labor at strengthening others in many different ways (vs. 4), sharing with them what we have in Christ (vss. 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 (vs. 7).” (Dynamis 8/8/2021)


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