Believers should live with Christ, love their neighbors and criticize only themselves, not other people. His Beatitude Onuphry, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, said this in his sermon during the Divine Liturgy at the Nativity of Christ Church in Kiev on December 13, 2019, reports the Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC).
“We should live with Christ, love God with our heart, mind and thoughts, and love our neighbor as ourselves,” said the Primate of the UOC.
Christians should improve themselves spiritually and “mentally force themselves to love God and their neighbors”, and should not wait until this love appears in their hearts one day, noted the Archpastor.
He also said that when one truly loves God, “it means one fulfills what He commanded to us: not to steal, not to kill, not to deceive, not to envy, and not to be proud”.
“If we keep God’s commandments, this is a testimony of our love for God. If we don’t do this, we can beat our breast and say, “I love God”, but this is not true. One loves God only when one fulfills the law of God,” stressed Metropolitan Onuphry.
The Primate of the UOC said that we should not criticize our neighbors, but love them the way they are.
“It is fashionable today to criticize everyone except yourself: ‘That one is such, the other one could be better, this one could be even better…’ One should say to oneself, ‘Look in the mirror, who are you to say this? I am the worst, but correct everyone. God endures man, and who am I to discipline anyone?’ A person should look at themselves and criticize themselves. This is spiritually correct. When we criticize everyone, it is not love, but pride, which cannot be patient, humble, and cannot respect anyone, except itself. And pride is a sin, it is the root of all sins,” the metropolitan pointed out.
We should live in love, respect and patience with each other, “then God of peace will be with us, and we will be the followers of eternal life,” concluded His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.