The feeling that we receive when we hear bad news or when the people you are surrounded with are constantly negative that it even affects the way you operate. Everyone has a decision to make and it must be one that you should not feel bad about or would need to justify. There are various situations that I have encountered where my flesh was put to the test. I was so eager to retaliate out of my feelings, but something deep down told me to hush.
Ladies, we must come to a realization that what people meant for evil, God will turn it around for your good (Genesis 50:20). Let us focus on the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis chapter 50. Here, we see that Joseph had two brothers whom he loved dearly. As time went on, God showed Joseph a vision of the dream He planned to fulfill in His life; until he told his dream to his brothers. When the brothers found out about his dream, they turned from being kind to being envious. Now that is a dangerous thing because it’s one thing for a friend to change in a heartbeat, but for your own family member to turn against you like that is painful!
So what did these brothers do? They sold Joseph into slavery for 22 years in Egypt! What really amused me was the fact that Joseph did not hold any grudges on his brothers. I wonder if it would have happened to any of us whether we would actually let go or want to revenge back. The pain that Joseph faced was so severe that it could have choked him. But GUESS WHAT, IT DIDN’T! I’ll tell you why. Joseph’s brothers stood before him as Prime Minister of Egypt. They did not recognise him and he holds their fate in his hands. Although Joseph knew that his brothers were with him, Joseph did not talk about the incident. Joseph made sure that no one in Egypt would ever know that they had done to him. Remember ladies that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Some of us in this scenario would want to pounce back on the culprit, but Joseph was wise enough to know that the battle was for the Lord; for that reason he didn’t allow the situation to choke him as well as his future.
God knows the weaknesses of your offenders that caused them to hurt you, but you must bear in mind that the same way you would want to judge or retaliate with the offender is the same way God will deal with you. Matthew 7:2 says “You will be judged in the same way that you judge others”. Joseph’s brothers genuinely did not know it was Joseph and was stunned with surprise. When they approached Joseph, Joseph then revealed himself and told them that he was their brother, the one who sold him for 22 years in Egypt. The most humbling thing to me was that Joseph even comforted his brothers for what they had done, so in other words he didn’t feel the need to intimidate them. When you are able to over-look the pain of what someone did to you in your past, you are a MATURE Christian! It is not always easy to be one I tell you; the majority of the time, our flesh wants to take over, but we have to develop self-control.
In particular, Joseph did not want his brothers to fear him, but to love him regardless of what they did. He wanted restoration and not revenge. How many of us can truthfully say we want restoration for our enemies? This is why Joseph didn’t choke and was able to obtain the promises God had for him. He knew that the long-term benefits of healing a relationship far outweighed any short-term satisfaction we would get from retaliation. Joseph understood that only when you release your offender that you set yourself free. Joseph wanted his brothers to know that they are accepted and will not use their sin against them. This too is the kind of love our Father shows us daily because He never brings up our past mess or keeps us at arm’s length because of our failures. Just as Joseph showed love and compassion to his brothers, it is the same way God too desires us to show love to other people; a love that doesn’t want them to feel afraid in your presence.
Imagine going to university or to a family gathering, and everyone looking at you in a weird way. How would that honestly make you feel? For me personally, I wouldn’t feel comfortable. So it is very important how you treat people and how you make them feel. Bear in mind that God has been so Faithful to each and every one of us so we too must be careful not to lay a guilt trip on others. Often it is your forgiveness that makes it possible for others to forgive themselves. What if you know of someone who cannot forgive themselves on what they did to you in the past, that the only way they can be free is if you tell them you accept their apology? Have you noticed that some commit suicide because of a friends unforgiving attitude? Yes what the person may have done was wrong, I am not disputing that, but for someone to go to that extent of taking their own life for a friend! Eish that must wake someone up today! Let us not wait until it is too late to forgive our offenders. Remember forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself; it is for you to be free and enjoy what God promises you to have.
Nothing is heavier than guilt because:
- It will drag you down – emotionally and mentally!
- It will destroy your relationships – you would only be using the new relationship to numb the pain of the old one!
- It will destroy your health – because you are not built to carry resentment!
God will always use the things that people plan against you to work out FOR YOUR GOOD! That is just how He works. Everything you and I have been through that has tried to bring us down one way or the other is working out in our favor. Friends that promise you to do something and fail to do it is working out for your good. I have learnt not to rely too much on people because things are subject to change, and in this life we will eventually step on each others toes, but as long as we are willing to NOT BECOME BITTER ABOUT IT, and let go of the situation is where God can step in and give us His Peace. This is a new level of forgiveness! When you preserve the dignity and self-worth of others, God will do the same for you also. With full knowledge of our sinful past, He covers us with the garment of Grace, and He expects us to do the same to others. The Bible says “Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave Himself to God as a sacrifice to take away our sins”.
When you forgive, there is no place for self-righteousness. With Joseph, he wasn’t being condescending or patronising, nor was he thinking, “I’ll be admired for being so gracious”, No! During his years in prison, God had moved on his heart and changed his attitude. So when Joseph said “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20), he really meant it. This was why Joseph was a step ahead of his brothers, and for this reason it made his brothers respect him the more. When you consider that God knows all about your sin YET promises to keep it a closely guarded secret, it should:
- Increase your sense of humility and gratitude
- Cause you to keep your mouth shut
- Make you refuse to hold anybody else’s sins and shortcomings over their head
True forgiveness must be practiced every day, and I know it won’t always be easy because we are all human and have feelings. Sure, it is easy to accept someone’s wrongdoing when they admit their offences, but if that is how you want to live all the time you may never experience victory. WHAT YOU DON’T FORGIVE, YOU WILL HAVE TO RE-LIVE IT! So for your own sake take back your life and keep walking! Although keeping your head high after an offence has come goes against our carnal nature, there is a high chance others may never know you truly forgave their offences. You certainty don’t want it to choke you, so why not just do it sincerely? Your heart might even break as you watch God bless your offender in answer to your prayers. The Bible says that Job’s suffering ended and his prosperity was restored once he was able to pray for those who had become a thorn in his side (Job 42:10). It takes a whole lot from you to pray for someone to receive their blessings while they have hurt you, but this is Christ’s standard of forgiveness. Imagine Jesus allowed his haters words to get to him, would he have won the Victory? I doubt it, but truly if the knew that Jesus was the Son of God, they would not have crucified Him. Some people do not know what they are doing when they try to offend you.
True forgiveness is the medicine that heels the deepest emotional wounds you have faced. It closes the door on the past and gives you Grace and motivation to move forward and enjoy the life God wants you to live. For all I know, all the sins we have committed are being recorded, so we have no other option but to just live right, love right and forgive right. Do not allow anything to choke you! Temporary satisfaction of revenge is not worth losing a long-term blessing for. Don’t allow your enemies to see you choking, instead let them see you love. Pray for those who despitefully use you (Matthew 5:44-45). Ladies, do not allow anything to steal your joy. There is so much more to life than allowing something so petty as a small argument that pushes you to make emotional decisions on a temporary situation. Be wise with your life and live it well in LOVE! God did not create you to choke, He desires you to enjoy life and have it more abundantly! (John 10:10).
Note to remember: “Do not allow the hurts caused by temporary people block your path of your ‘FOREVER PEOPLE’. Clear the way for those will enhance your life.