Sometimes, we have no choice. Whether we like it or not, we are all brothers and sisters within the human family – regardless of our race, religion or gender. We are created in the image of God and are of equal value to God.

How do we relate to each other within this God-given family? One of the evil fruits of war is HATRED. This is very evident in the Middle East conflict. Unfortunately, hatred is not confined to wars. It often exists within families, in the workplace, and in every other area of our lives.

Jesus Christ had every reason to hate the Jewish and Roman leaders from whom he received verbal, mental, emotional and physical abuse. However, even when suffering the indignity and excruciating pain on the cross, he said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).

God’s message to us concerning hatred is both simple and direct. ‘The way we know we’ve been transformed from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn’t love is as good as dead. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know very well that eternal life and murder don’t go together.’ ‘If anyone boasts, “I love God” and goes on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see. The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.’ (1 John 3: 14 -15 and 4: 20-21, The Message).


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