Ephesians 4:30-5:1 (NRSV)

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children,   

Ephesians 4:32 (NRSV)

32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

DEVOTION – Susie Baker (South Carolina)

My college roommate Ginger and I were inseparable.  We ate meals together, visited each other’s families, told each other our deepest secrets, and went to the same church.

After studying abroad, I decided to visit other churches.  Ginger became distant and unfriendly.  She stated that we could no longer be friends if I went to a different church.  I was hurt, frustrated, and anxious to change her mind.  How could she believe that we could not be friends because we went to different churches?

Months later, I realized that her church was encouraging members to become exclusive.  I was thankful that God led me to leave that church, though I mourned the loss of my friend.  I continued praying for Ginger.  I e-mailed her Bible verses.  I ached for our companionship.

Six years later, I received a message from Ginger.  She was sorry for cutting off our friendship.  She was no longer part of the church I had left and realized that God’s love isn’t limited to one church or congregation.  I forgave her, and I rejoice that we are friends again.  God’s expansive love can inspire us toward forgiveness and reconciliation.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: As God forgave us, let us forgive one another.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us forgive one another.  Reconcile relationships that have been torn apart, and teach us to love as you love.  In Jesus’ holy name we pray.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: FRIENDS WHO HAVE BECOME ESTRANGED

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