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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Feb. 10, 2011 - Remembering and Forgiving

By William E. Richardson

The hot sun beat down on the long line of people winding through Egypt for their grain ration. The man in charge suddenly recognized 10 men he hadn't seen in 20 years.

Joseph last saw his older brothers through tear-filled eyes. While strangers chained him to others who had been sold as slaves, his brothers divided the money they had just made from selling him.

Two decades later, when their 10 familiar faces reached the head of the ration line, Joseph called out, “Spies!” He commanded soldiers to haul his siblings to jail (Genesis 42:9,17).

Joseph didn't hate his brothers. Perhaps Joseph was buying time while devising a plan. He wanted his whole family back together, including his father, Jacob, and youngest brother, Benjamin.

Joseph’s plan slowly unfolded. It brought Benjamin to Egypt first and eventually Jacob with all of his descendants (Genesis 46:26).

The mistreated brother had the power to order his siblings killed the day he saw them in the food line. But that was never in his heart. Sorrow, yes; revenge, no. After all, vengeance belongs to God (Hebrews 10:30).

With the passing years, all went well until Jacob died. That sent fear through the hearts of Joseph's brothers. He had not harmed them as long as their father was alive, but with Jacob’s death, the brothers feared Joseph might enact some hidden desire to repay them for their treatment of him all those years before.

Answering their fears, Joseph told them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?” (Genesis 50:19, NIV). He assured them he completely forgave them and would continue providing for their families (v. 21). That's forgiveness!

When someone offends us, we also get to make choices. We’ll either hold on to offenses or we'll forgive them.

One young man understood forgiveness as presented in the Lord’s Prayer better than he remembered the prayer itself. He prayed, “Forgive us our trash passes as we forgive those who pass trash against us.” Joseph would have said, “Amen!”

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God.

 

 

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