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It’s interesting that when Jesus offered up his last prayer before his death he prayed for unity among believers. Unity is impossible when hatred is present. Love of the brethren is, in some ways more important than loving the ‘pagan’ because we are being watched. When I ask people who don’t attend church why they don’t, most of the answers center around church politics and hypocrisy. We say love the sinner and hate the sin but that starts in the church, in the body of Christ, the Family of Believers. It was the love/unity of the body that attracted people to the early church and people haven’t changed that much! All of us have people that annoy us for a variety of reasons — things they have done; personality conflicts; actions they have taken. Yet first and foremost we need to see others as God’s creation, not define them by their actions. We don’t love them because of who they are, we love them because of who Gd is. Jesus died for us when we were at our worst, the least we can do is to love others when they are at their worst through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us.

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