Vern’s feelings were hurt. Bee had snapped after a game of sniffing and playing with their chewed up bone. Why wouldn’t Bee play? She was always wanting to rest on her bed or sit at the door to wait for the humans to come in for a good head scratching. But that last growl was hurtful and all Vern wanted to do was take a nap and sulk.

We all react a little different when our feelings are hurt. Some become angry and feel justified for the unkind words that are spoken or the wrongful actions that are taken. Others pull inward and like Vern, spin a web of selfish thoughts. Either way, there is a strong possibility that we will sin as an outcome of the bottled up feelings that arise when we have been sinned against.

So when Jesus spoke to his disciples about prayer, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear him speak of the importance of forgiveness. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25)

Jesus knows that we will be sinned against and tries to equip us with the tools needed to overcome the sin that is sure to follow. On the other hand, given that Vern is a dog, he will soon forget what Bee has done and can be found playing tug a war with his favorite bone.

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