Daily Devotionals

Are You Holding a Grudge?

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Scripture:  “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

On July 10 at 3 am, Eastminster’s high school youth loaded a bus headed to Chicago for an unforgettable, life-changing mission trip. It was a week full of hard work, bad food, dirty showers, Bible studies, games, laughing, crying, sweating, and very little sleep. However, I can truly say it was one of the best weeks of my life. I was fortunate enough to be one of the chaperones of some of the most mature, amazing, hard-working teenagers I have ever encountered.

One day, we were blessed to take a tour of the Westside Housing Authority. The WHA is an organization that works tirelessly to help ex-convicts and people who are struggling to find jobs. Our guide was a man named Charles Perry, whose optimism and genuineness shined. He was so grateful we had come to visit. Charles explained to us that he had spent over 20 years in jail. After being released, he was given an opportunity and jumped on it. The founder of the WHA, Mrs. Reese, offered him a job, and he graciously accepted.

After the first month, he was asked for his meeting reports. He was supposed to take notes at all of the meetings and turn in reports at the end of the month. He was unaware of that task, so he had nothing to submit. One of his co-workers stepped in to help by turning in all the reports for him for that month. Charles was thankful and never let that happen again.

A few months later, Charles got caught sleeping on the job. One of his co-workers approached the boss and explained the reason Charles was sleeping: he had been working part-time at the WHA and three other jobs to support his children. Instead of getting fired, Charles received an offer to be hired full-time.

What if Mrs. Reese had not given him a job? What if his co-worker had not offered to submit the first month of meeting notes to help Charles? What if his boss had not forgiven him for sleeping on the job? Charles was forgiven and received a second chance.

He has now been at the WHA for over 20 years. Many of his employees have been in prison and are now thriving because Charles has provided forgiveness and a second chance for them as well. I can only imagine the number of lives on which Charles has had a profound impact.

I ask you today to think about your life. Do you hold a grudge against someone? Do you know anyone who needs a second chance? We must forgive and love because God loves and forgives us.

Prayer: Dear God, I thank you for forgiving us. Whether a sin is big or small, we all need to receive and give love and forgiveness. I also thank you for the opportunity of mission, so our youth can see the impact we are able to have on others’ lives. What a blessing it is that we can learn just as much from the ones we serve, if not more, than they can learn from us. Amen.

Submitted by Harper James