Abba John [the Eunuch] said, ‘Our Father, Abba Anthony, said he had never put his own personal advantage before the good of a brother.’
If we want to be Christ’s friends, we must be people of love. We are not told this story of St Anthony the Great in order to be shown how great a saint he was, even if this saying does so, but rather, to show the kind of example he set for us all who want to by Christ’s friends. What he accomplished, we all can accomplish, and if call ourselves Christians, we should want to do so. Living out our life in loving service to the other is the way we show we have become Christ’s friends:
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you(John 15:12-14).
We might not be expected to literally lay down our life for others, but we are called to work for their good, even if it comes at a cost to us. Christ is not telling us that our love is manifest only if we die for someone else. Rather, he is telling us that we must overcome ourselves, we must die to the self, and we must do so out love and not some nihilistic hatred for the self. We give ourselves to the other, knowing we are giving them something good. We must respect the good God has placed in our lives, so that what we then give can be and will be appreciated by the one who receives our gift of self to them.
As we spiritually develop, we will become people more concerned about others than ourselves. We must learn how think of their needs. In doing so, we will be helping ourselves become the people we are meant to be (initially we might realize this, but as we grow, the less we should even consider this, and just act for the sake of what is right and good). When we come across someone in need, we should want to do what we can to help them, turning our attention to their need even if it means our own desires end up being unfulfilled. True love will be concerned about the well-being of the other. One who loves will act out of that love, and they will act without pondering the consequences of their actions for themselves.
 The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Trans. Benedicta Ward (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1984), 105.