FORGIVING THOSE WHO HURT OR OFFENDED US
When the ten brothers of Joseph got home, they told their father (Jacob) that the man (Joseph) in charge of the food in Egypt spoke harshly against them. They were accused of spying, and to prove that they were not spies, they had to bring their youngest brother with them, Benjamin, to buy more food and released Simeon from jail. Jacob wasn't willing to let Benjamin go with them for fear of losing him, but Jacob let Benjamin go with his brothers since the famine was severe and running out of food again. So all his brothers went to Egypt, and when Joseph saw all his brothers, including Benjamin, he called his servant and said this, "Bring the men into the house, and slay an animal and make ready; for the men are to dine with me at noon." (Genesis 43:16).
All his brothers were nervous because they thought the reason Joseph wanted them to eat at his house was to make them his slaves. Moreover, they felt they were being accused of stealing money because when they got home from the last time they bought food, they found their money back in their sack. However, they told Joseph's servants that they brought the money back with them. When Joseph had all his brothers with him, including Simeon, he was moved emotionally, especially when he saw Benjamin. Joseph asked his brothers about their father's well-being, and they told him that their father was well. So they all ate, but Joseph had to eat separately because, in the Egyptian culture, he could not eat with them. Joseph decided not to reveal himself to his brother yet because he wanted to know more about them. His brothers didn't realize that Joseph could understand everything that they were saying to each other.
Joseph couldn't control his emotions around his brothers because he missed and loved them regardless of what they did to him. True forgiveness brings freedom and restores relationships. This is what our Heavenly Father did to us. When we became sinners because of Adam's sin in the garden of Eden, we lost our relationship with Him. He had to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin so that we could be forgiven of our sin and restore our relationship with Him. There are times that it is very difficult to forgive those who hurt us, but as God's children, we do not have a choice but to forgive. If we have difficulty forgiving someone, we need to ask our Heavenly Father to help us forgive that we may live in freedom and peace.
Ask yourself these questions: How did God restore my relationship with Him? Am I willing to forgive those who hurt or offended me? What does God want me to do to those who offended or hurt me?
Write down all the worries that you are facing today and lift them up to God.
Father in heaven, thank you for forgiving all my sins and restoring my relationship with you through your Son, Jesus Christ. Please help me to forgive those who hurt or offended me. Please take away unforgiveness in my heart that I may experience your freedom and peace in my life. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.