Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Colossians 3:13 – Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (NIV)

Recently, I received an e-mail from a lady who had just lost a very dear friend — her dog. I sympathized with this person, as I have known this loss a time or two myself. I wrote back, "I know it's only a dog! But don't we get attached to them? Often our relationship is better with the dog than with many people. I wonder why."

Her response the next day told me, "I think our relationships with dogs are often better than with people because they really place so few demands on us, they love us unconditionally, and their capability to forgive is incredible. Maybe if we could see things as simply as they do, our lives would be much more Christ-like! People have an amazing way of complicating life."

How true, I thought, as I considered the problems we can all associate with. Suffering hurt and not being able to come to grips with that hurt, we hold on and won't let go. How do we handle the hurt we bear? It is obvious to me, but I feel we complicate difficulties that have a simple solution: forgiveness.

May we be more Christ-like, simply loving unconditionally and being capable of forgiving. Christ did this. Though sinless, he became sin for us that we might be forgiven. Let any of us, who have been hurt with an unkind word or deed, forgive and forget in the way a Christian belonging to the body of Christ must do.

Prayer: Hear our prayer, O Lord. Help us to find it in our hearts to forgive, knowing that, in forgiving, we will find forgiveness in You, and the burden will be taken away. Dear Lord, we especially pray for any who seemingly can't do this, praying in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Anne Russell <>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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