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A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found this: living in community with others fosters better health. Researchers found that people in contact with others had fewer colds, less infection, less stress, and less heart disease. So it turns out that God’s instruction that we love one another is for our own good. Love unites us, builds community, and fosters harmony, justice, and care for the less fortunate. On the other hand, hate separates, fragments, and destroys a community. We read in Leviticus 19, that God gave ancient Israel laws to foster community, “Do not steal. Do not deceive or cheat one another. Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly. Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. You are to love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” The more we follow these ethical guidelines, the more peace and harmony we’ll have—in our community.

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