“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
Many of us get caught up with petty grievances. We get angry when kids march into the house with muddy boots. We lose our patience with other drivers who don’t know that the left lane is the FAST lane.
But we need to get a sense of perspective.
In the Old Testament, the patriarch Joseph endures hardship and betrayal like we probably never will. His half brothers conspire against him and sell him into slavery; they convince his father, Jacob, that he is dead; and later, Joseph is falsely accused of rape and imprisoned.
Yet, he forgives those who harmed him and returns good deeds for evil ones.
Reflect on his words: “You intended to harm me but God used it for good; I forgive you and am happy to help.”
That’s forgiveness; God’s kind of forgiveness; and it’s the sort of forgiveness we’re called upon to practice as well.
When we forgive others, we do as God would have us do, and we free ourselves from those petty grievances that can ruin our day.
Sweet Freedom in Action
Think about Joseph’s patience, his willingness to forgive, his understanding that God can bring goodness out of any situation, no matter how bad it seems at the time.