“He spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them.” Ge 50:21 TLB
Seventeen years after being reunited with Joseph, his long lost son, Jacob died and Joseph’s brothers panicked. They started to think, “Now Joseph will pay us back for all the evil we did to him” (v. 15 TLB). So they got together, made up a story, and sent word to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you’” (vv. 16-17 NLT). Now think about it. If their father really had said this, he wouldn’t have told Joseph’s brothers, he’d have told Joseph himself, right? He wouldn’t have gone to his grave with the fear that Joseph might exact revenge. When Joseph heard that his brothers doubted his forgiveness he called them together and wept, saying, “Don’t be afraid…I myself will take care of you and your families.’ And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them” (v. 21 TLB). True forgiveness, the kind that’s taught in Scripture, is a commitment you must practice every day of your life. People need loving the most, when they deserve it the least. No one ever said it would be easy. If Jesus had waited until His enemies repented He’d never have prayed on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Lk 23:34 NKJV). Sure, it’s easier to forgive when others acknowledge their offense. But if that’s a prerequisite you may never experience victory! And what you don’t forgive—you have to relive! So for your own sake forgive, take back your life, and begin walking in the blessing of the Lord.