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The immediate causes of violence and anti-social behavior are many and complex; causes are historical, economical, political, social and family breakdown, a lack of personal responsibility—to name a few. Yet essentially, anti-social behavior comes from our alienation from God who is righteous, fair, and loving. Away from God, we engage in all sorts of sinful behavior–motivated by the quest to satisfy our body, greed to own what others have, and the urge to control others. The real antidote is a new heart controlled by God’s Spirit. God uses His people to convey His offer of forgiveness, reconciliation, and love. It is why the Bible repeatedly urges us to model righteousness, to work for justice, and to show love to one another. God’s people are equipped to do this because God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. God gives His Spirit as a gift to all who accept His Son. John the Apostle wrote this in 1 John 4, “This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” Today, God urges us to roll up our sleeves and let Him help us make a difference wherever we live.

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