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

AARON BURR AND ALEXANDER HAMILTON, founding fathers of our country, were as famous for their feud and duel as their politics. Hamilton campaigned against Burr when he ran for governor of New York. Burr took this personally. In 1791 Burr was elected as senator of New York. After months of verbal sparring, public accusations, and heated correspondence between the two, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. On July 11, 1804, Burr shot Hamilton. Hamilton died the next day.

How differently things would have turned out if the two men had been willing to lay their differences aside. Instead, each kept adding fuel to the fire until it exploded into tragedy. Paul told the Colossians to bear with each other. He encouraged them to forgive their grievances against each other in the same way Christ had forgiven them. They needed to lay aside their feelings for the sake of living together in unity.

“Bear with each other,” Paul is saying to us just as he said to the Colossians in the past. Overlook the faults in each other; lay aside resentment and anger that threatens to destroy peace in your world. Don’t choose to think the worst of another. Keep your mind and heart free of malice. Be the one who is willing to stop cruel words before they cut too deeply.

Decide from this day forward to bear with others.

Vickie Phelps lives in Texas with her husband and their schnauzer. She collects books, plays the organ, and is a trained cake decorator.