Today’s words from Leviticus outline the way to holiness and we can recognize in them the Ten Commandments. The last verse really caught my eye:

You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. Though you may have to reprove him, do not incur sin because of him. Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

It almost seems to be directly referring to the current political climate in our country. Living in Wisconsin, we really felt it with the recent divisions between the public unions and our governor and between the members of our legislature. The divisions reached, not only along political lines, not only among co-workers, not only among neighbors, but even into families. This is a vitally important issue, and I do not in any way suggest diminishing its impact on our state and country.

But when I see people acting with viciousness, slander, foul play, lies, destruction of property, and even death threats, I become concerned. Regardless of how vital the issue, no one has the right to harm the dignity of another human being. The hatred those persons bear for their brothers caused them to incur sin. How alarming.

I wasn’t physically involved in the upheaval. But I certainly felt anger toward my brothers, anger that sometimes led me to unkind words. Sometimes we justify our cruelty toward others by claiming righteousness. Yet, the LORD said it quite clearly – harboring hatred and acting out toward others is never right. It only leads to sinfulness.

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