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Love (Wrong and Right Kind)

“Our spiritual struggle is not only a choice between good and evil, but between God and self (or self-centeredness). The choice is between godly love and self-love…self-love is the ruination of marriage and family.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh, Vigen Guroian)

“A double-minded man is one whose devotion to God is less than total. His attention is divided between God and other things, and as a consequence he is unstable and therefore unable to receive from God…Double-mindedness (James 1:8) speaks of one who has two loyalties, love of the world competing with love for God (see Mt 6:24). Such unstable life deadens our conscience and turns us aside from the truth.” (NET Bible, James 1:8, Orthodox Study Bible, James 1:6-8)

“There can be no doubt but that love for anything that exists is divided into these two types. One may lustfully love one’s motherland, working to make sure that it develops gloriously and victoriously, overcoming and destroying all its enemies. Or one can love it in a Christian manner, working to see that the face of Christ’s truth is revealed more and more clearly within it. One can lustfully love knowledge and art, seeking to express oneself, to flaunt oneself in them. Or one can love them while remaining conscious of one’s service through them, of one’s responsibility for the exercise of God’s gifts in these spheres.” (St. Maria of Paris)

“We become what we love,” writes Dr. Caroline Leaf, who has spent over thirty years studying the brain, both in clinical practice and as a neuroscience researcher. Her fascinating work testifies to the biblical truth that we can change who we are—both on a spiritual and physiological level—by what we love and what we choose to focus our attention on… Leaf cited one study conducted by the Institute of HeartMath that revealed that “when we make a poor-quality decision—when we choose to engage toxic thoughts (for example, unforgiveness, bitterness, irritation, or feelings of not coping)—we change the DNA and subsequent genetic expression, which then changes the shape of our brain wiring in a negative direction.” But the same study also held out hope of healing for those whose brains have been ravaged by toxic thoughts: “The most exciting part of this study was the hope it demonstrated because the positive attitude, the good choice, rewired everything back to the original healthy positive state. These scientists basically proved we can renew our minds.” (Robin Phillips)

“Loving God is not simply “the first and great commandment” (Dt 6:5; Mt 22:36-37). It is the life-giving response of the believing heart, and thus transforms the commandments from burden to grace….the “highest elements of our constitution – the intellect, the conscience, the loving power of the soul – must initially be offered to God as a holy sacrifice”…“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word,” says the Lord Jesus, “and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (Jn 14:23). Loving God is the first and great opportunity.” (Dynamis 6/30/2022, Saint Makarios of Egypt)


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