I Forgive You, Too – Week of September 28, 2020

[Joseph’s] brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said. But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. 

Genesis 50: 18-21 

“She was mean to me!” Betsy cried out to you. Not having seen the incident, you bring both of the little ones together to find out more. You quietly ask each child to share what they did to the other one. Emma had lashed out at Betsy with words that hurt. As you talk together, Emma starts to understand that she had hurt Betsy with her words. “I’m sorry,” Emma says with tears. And then you wait. How will Betsy respond?

Can you imagine the guilt Joseph’s brothers had been carrying? For well over 30 years, they knew what they had done to Joseph. They alienated him. They threw him into a pit. They sold him into slavery. For all those years, they had no idea what had become of him—until now. Here they were at his mercy. The famine had led them to Egypt to hopefully get supplies that could be found nowhere else. Through a series of events, they had come to realize that the powerful leader that had control of the supplies they needed was none other than their brother, Joseph. If they had been able to push the guilt down over the years, it all came to the surface and their remorse flooded out. They admitted all they had done and begged for his forgiveness.

If anyone had an opportunity for pay back, it was Joseph. He had the authority to do almost anything. He could repay them with a similar fate. He could exile them. He could have them imprisoned or worse. What was his response? “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?”

Did they hear that right? Was he forgiving them? Yes. He was indeed. Why? Joseph knew God’s love and forgiveness in his own life. He knew that God had brought blessings through challenge after challenge to fulfill God’s plan. His heart was forgiving and loving, and he shared with them the precious words of forgiveness.

Each of us has someone in our lives who has hurt us in some way. This hurt can fester and drive a wedge between you and them. We also have caused hurt, especially to God each time we sin. In our devotion last week, we were reminded how God in love, washes each one of our sins completely away. He does this over and over and over. He does this without an expectation of anything but faith in him through Jesus. We don’t deserve it. By God’s grace, we have it—forgiveness from him.

As we consider this overwhelming free forgiveness, we can consider those we know. When someone comes to us with a broken heart, we can recall God’s love for us. Just as God forgives us, we too can say, “I forgive you.” What a gift we have from God. What a gift we can share with each other.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, your forgiveness for me is unexplainable except for the love you have shown for me and for all people. Out of gratitude for all you have done, create in me a loving and forgiving heart. In your name I pray. Amen

A Question to Consider: Sometimes the hurt we have experienced is significant and can cause lasting effects. Forgiveness will always be the foundation of healing in those situations. However, it is also sometimes helpful to seek the advice and counsel of a Christian counselor who can help us to work through these deep hurts.  May the Lord bless your relationships with one another and provide healing for all. Above all, may the Lord draw each of you closer to him.

Creative Commons LicenseEarly Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email