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It is more than likely that we have all heard the phrase, “hate the sin – love the sinner.” This is the example we have received from our Lord Jesus Christ. This morning, though, it occured to me that Satan does just the opposite and “hates the sinner but loves the sin.” It is, therefore, ironic that we so often emulate Satan instead of our Lord. What do we do (unless we are living saints) when someone offends us? If we are honest we would have to admit that our immediate reaction is, to a greater or lesser extent, to hate the person that offended us. We think to ourselves, “How could he do that to me?!” Or, “He thinks he's so great: I'll show him!”

Satan hates us and wants to drag as many of us to hell with him as possible. When we think such evil thoughts in regards to those who offend us then we are effectively doing the same thing: we are sending people to hell with our thoughts. But is that what we really want to do? Do we really want to condemn people to an eternity of despair and pain for a momentary pain they may have caused us? (And any pain in this life is only momentary.) If we really want someone to go to hell then we have probably condemned ourselves to the same fate because we have become just like Satan.

But I think for most of us, if we really thought about the consequences of our evil thoughts toward others, we would see that in the big scheme of things what has been done to offend us pales in comparison to our wrath at the offense. So the next time someone hurts us we should try to remember that that person has an immortal soul created and loved by God every bit as much as He loves our own. And if we desire to be happy for eternity then let us emulate Him when we are hurt. Yes, we should hate the sin because sinfulness can have no place with God. And we should then love the sinner with the realization that the sinner is our very self.

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