Sunday, September 13: Living love through forgiveness and generosity
August 21, 2020 by Greg Allen-Pickett
Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?”… Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way, he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Loving and forgiving someone who has wronged you is not an easy thing to do, but the Bible is full of stories and reminders that call us to this kind of love. Joseph’s brothers beat him up and sold him into slavery, so he has pretty good justification for holding a grudge against them. But Joseph has a trick up his sleeve to practice forgiveness. He reminds himself and those seeking his forgiveness that God is at work, redeeming and reconciling even the most awful things that people can do. Joseph is able to focus on God’s work, God’s love, and God’s plan, and by doing so he is able to grant his brothers forgiveness, reassurance, kindness, and provision. By remembering that God loves us and shows us grace and generosity, it can help free us to love others and show them grace and generosity as Joseph does in Genesis 50.