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Love and Truth

“[The Hebrew word] Emeth is ‘truth,’ but not merely in contrast to falsehood. It is commonly translated ‘fidelity’ or ‘faithfulness’ and has the sense of reliability and this quality of God is the rock: secure, strong, stable, a place to be anchored: ‘O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my rock of refuge!’ (2 Sam 22:2-3). This image appears regularly in biblical prayers and is, in fact, the most frequent image for God in the Psalms. When these two concepts [emeth and hesed which is Hebrew for love] are brought together in the tradition they describe the God of Israel as ‘faithful love’ or ‘loving faithfulness,’ a stunning revelation….The God of Israel is not self-focused, but is turned toward God’s sons and daughters and only wants to help them receive what is best for them. Love in biblical terms is not a feeling but a decision to seek what is best for the other. God is the premier model for this. God never acts any other way. God not only loves but is love (1 John 4:8).” (Jerome Kodell)

“Christianity teaches that we are to love as God loves us (John 13:34). This love which we are to imitate is not an emotion or a feeling, nor a reaction to others. Love is something we chose to do – we have to will it. And it is always directed toward the benefit of someone else – it is not self-serving. We are to love God’s sons and daughters because God loves them. We are to will what is best for the other and to help them receive all of God’s blessings.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“Christ gave us two commandments: to love God and to love our fellow man. Everything else…is merely an elaboration of these two commandments, which contain within themselves the totality of Christ’s “Good News.”...And it is remarkable that their truth is found only in the way they are linked together. Love for man alone leads us into the blind alley of an anti-Christian humanism, out of which the only exit is, at times, the rejection of the individual human being and love toward him in the name of all mankind. Love for God without love for man, however, is condemned: “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters are liars” (1 John 4:20).” (Maria Skobtsova, Fr. Michael Plekon)

“There are many ways to speak the truth: bluntly, with detachment, cruelly, haughtily, with love arising from our personal experience and thanksgiving. We may take any one of these approaches, all the while using nice manners and socially approved words. However, none of these models is the one that the Apostle Paul commends to us [Ephesians 4:14-19]. Only the Lord Jesus Christ speaks the truth perfectly, with full personal involvement and true concern for others’ illumination and well-being…He [St. Paul] speaks with Christ’s love – with that caring we associate with the Lord as Love Incarnate. Saint Paul calls us to embrace the manner of loving and truthful speech exemplified by the Lord Jesus. The more Christ dwells in our hearts, the more we will find ourselves able to speak to others with the Lord’s life-giving love – and the more He will speak through us…To speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:5) is Christ-like when we edify our brethren in the struggle for purity, repentance, receptivity to the Holy Spirit, transparent humility, genuine faith, and unqualified hope.” (Dynamis 10/14/2021)

“Every living thing seeks love: man, animals, and plants. All people seek God and long for Him, regardless of whether they are believers or unbelievers. Some people call themselves atheists, but they do not know that in their hearts they long after God. For when someone yearns for justice, love and truth, he is really yearning after God. All people long for love that never changes and justice that is always the same. All living things long for God. The only difference is that some oppose Him and others don't, some yearn after Him consciously while others are not aware that their yearning is really after God.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)


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