Read Colossians 3:12-17

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

--Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

For years I did not like the color purple. Purple was my best friend Jenny's favorite color the year we were both 11--the year Jenny betrayed me. Preferring more popular friends, Jenny made fun of me, abandoned me, and even turned off the lights in a public restroom to leave me alone in the dark. In my mind, purple became the color of disloyalty, painful feelings, and memories I couldn't forgive. Or rather, memories I wouldn't forgive.

I didn't want to forgive Jenny. She was wrong, and I was hurt. I held on to my bitter feelings until God showed me through scripture that we are to forgive others just as God forgives us. Compared to the ugliness of sin, even the most hideous shade of purple is beautiful.

If anyone had a right to feel bitter because of what people did to him, Jesus did. However, his response was amazing forgiveness. Judas betrayed Jesus to those who wanted him dead. Three times Peter denied knowing Jesus. Yet as Jesus, the sinless son of God, died on the cross after the Roman guards scorned, mocked, and beat him, he prayed, "Father, forgive them..." (Luke 23:34).

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to follow Christ's example. Teach us to forgive others as you have forgiven us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

Thought for the day

No hurt is too great for us to forgive.

Lochlanina Tobey (Virginia)

Date: 7/23/2012

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