Today’ Scripture: Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Have you ever wondered how you can show love to people you’d love to hate? A young Indian chief heard the gospel and accepted Christ. Shortly afterward, a member of a neighboring tribe killed his father. The chief confronted the guilty man and said, “You have killed my father, so now you must be my father. You shall ride my best horse and wear my best clothes.” His enemy exclaimed, “My son, now you have killed me!” The hatred in his heart melted away because of the forgiveness and kindness of the Indian chief.

If someone killed my father, I probably wouldn’t have the courage to respond in the same manner as the Indian chief. But my test comes when I meet a person who did me great harm or cheated me. Does God call me to trust them or do business with them again? No. But He does want me to love them. In any relationship, trust is built over time.

We all experience pain: Your parents said something which hurt you. Your husband cheated on you. Your friend turned on you. Pain is part of life itself, but you can either get bitter or get better.

Consider any broken relationships in your life right now. Ask God to help you bridge the gap with love. Choose to forgive. Your kindness just might kill the hostile spirit which divides you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder