A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 19, 2015
“Love people, not things; use things, not people”

"Love people, not things; use things not people” is a popular saying that has been printed on many posters. The saying has been popular in Christian teaching as an extension of the New Testament, 1 John 2:15, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

“His (Jesus—ed.) advice was to love people, not things” was cited in 1897. “Christian women must have a new doctrine—to learn to use things and love people. Now we love things and use people,” said a youth director of the Reformed Church in America in 1955.

“Love people, not things; Use things, not people” was cited in 1972 in a newspaper advertisement for First Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. It’s not known who first used this form of the saying.  Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985), the twelfth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), is frequently credited in the 2000s, but there aren’t early citations to indicate that he was the first to say this.


Biblehub.com
1 John 2:15
King James Bible
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Google Books
18 September 1897, The Outlook, “Love Not the World” by Kate Upson Clark, pg. 185, col. 1:
AN eloquent preacher recently delivered a striking discourse upon the text, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” His advice was to love people, not things.

But, in spite of all that the Good Book and the preachers say, most of us keep on loving things, and their owners largely because they do have things.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
2 November 1953, The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY), pg. 2, col. 2:
Love People,
Not Things,
Bishop Urges

The third in the series of Christian Clinics for Adults was held in Bethesda Parish House Thursday night. It was directed by the Rt. Rev. David E. Richards, suffragan bishop of the Albany Diocese.

The subject this week was Disorder Today and the Need for Sacrifice. Bishop Richards pointed out how distraction brings about disorder with other people and with God, and how one is likely to love things and use people when it should be in reverse.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
7 May 1955, Binghamton (NY) Press, pg. 11, col. 6:
Use Things, Love People
Urged as New Doctrine

“Christian women must have a new doctrine—to learn to use things and love people. Now we love things and use people,” according to Miss Marion VanHorne, youth director of the Reformed Church in America.

30 January 1967, Daily Favorite (Bonham, TX), “Sportz Shotz: Love People Not Things” by Mackle Morris, pg. 6, col. 3:
Yet even though (Texas Christian University football coach—ed.) Abe Martin won’t be on the playing field directing his Frogs next year, something he said will be there forever.

“I just think you ought to use things and love people, not use your people and love the things you get through them.”

Google Books
Sexuality and Moral Responsibility
By Robert P. O’Neil
Washington, DC: Corpus Books
1968
Pg. 74:
According to Joseph Fletcher, one of its most articulate champions in the United States, Christians and non-Christians alike should at least be able to agree on two basic principles of ethics. The first principle dictates that we should love people, not things; immorality is possible only when we invert this order and love things instead of people.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
24 June 1968, Cortland (NY) Standard, “Rev. Harrington Delivers Baccalaureate to Seniors at Homer Central School” by Josephine Brown, pg. 9, col. 2:
It is easy to confuse things and people—use things not people, stated Mr. Harrington.

15 April 1972, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), sec. 2, pg. 6, col. 1 ad:
Love people, not things
Use things, not people

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

Google Books
21 Myths That Can Wreck Your Marriage:
How a Couple Can Avoid Head-On Collisions

By Barbara Chesser
Dallas, TX: Word Publishing
1990
Pg. ?:
It’s simply this: USE THINGS, NOT PEOPLE. Whether we live by the value expressed in this bumper sticker or not comes out loud and clear in the marriage relationship.

Google Books
Life Lessons for Couples
By Cindy Francis
Austin, TX: Newport House
1993
Pg. ?:
Use things, not people. Love people, not things.

Google News Archive
31 January 2007, Kuna Melba News (Kuna and Melba, ID), “Stretching is a good way to keep limber and prevent injury"by Martha Eberhard, pg. 8, col. 1:
Love people, not things; use things, not people.

Twitter
Arun Charles
‏@livetorque
“Love people, not things; use things, not people. “ ~ Spencer W. Kimball
12:10 PM - 14 Dec 2009

Google Books
Love, Life and All That Jazz
By Ahmed Faiyaz
New Delhi: Sanbun Publishers
2010
Pg. 185:
“Love people, not things; use things, not people. “ — Spencer W. Kimball

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, February 19, 2015 • Permalink