“You meant evil…but God meant it for good.” Ge 50:20 NKJV
Twenty-two years after selling Joseph into slavery, his brothers now stand before him as prime minister of Egypt. They don’t recognize him, and he holds their fate in his hands. If you’d been in his shoes, what would you have done? Gotten even? Reminded them of their past offenses? For the next few days, let’s look at what Joseph did: He didn’t talk about it. “There was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers” (Ge 45:1 NIV). Joseph made sure no one in Egypt would ever know what they’d done to him. And isn’t that how God treats us? The fact is He has enough on each of us to bury us, yet He refuses to resurrect our past sins. So why do we? To punish! “Perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1Jn 4:18 NIV). What are we afraid of? That they’ll get away with it. We want them punished, so we tell everybody what happened. And when we do: (1) We play God! God says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” (Ro 12:19). He alone knows the weakness in your offenders that caused them to hurt you, and whether they’ve repented and changed. (2) We set the standard by which we ourselves will be judged. “You will be judged in the same way that you judge others” (Mt 7:2 NCV). If that’s a truth you’re not comfortable with: “Get rid of all bitterness…Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God…has forgiven you” (Eph 4:31-32 NLT). When you’ve been wronged, “forgive and forget” is the right response!