In my heart of hearts, I’ve always wanted to do what was right in the eyes of God. I love Him and want to do what pleases Him. And so, I sought the Lord earlier this week about how to deal with a certain situation before setting about my daily routine.
As I continued in my Bible reading plan, this passage jumped out at me from the pages:
14 After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said.
16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.
19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.
– Genesis 50:14-19
What sparked my interest was how Joseph dealt with his brothers. He extended grace to the people who had intentionally tried to cause him harm. He knew that whatever circumstances that occurred in his life, God would turn it all for good and in knowing that, he could love His brothers like God does – unconditionally, regardless of what good or bad they had done to him.
I went out for a walk and had my phone playlist on shuffle. After a song or two, a message came up from Elevation Church entitled, ‘The Fine Art of Friendship’ and in my head, I was like: ‘NO WAY! You are too awesome, God!’
I listened intently and what stood out this time was this statement: “The greatest offence of the Gospel is sacrificial love.” When we love each other sacrificially, no one can argue with us.
I mulled on these thoughts for a day or two and considered my response to a person who had previously hurt me deeply. Unlike Joseph’s brothers, it was unintentionally but using human logic there was no need for me to continue loving that person as a friend. But God’s ways are higher than our ways. They don’t always make sense. I know to love like Christ, is to love regardless of a person’s offence. We were not deserving of God’s love, but He gave His LIFE for us. So to love like Christ is to extend grace especially to those who don’t deserve it.
I made the adjustments and there is peace :).
1 John 4:7-8 NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.