To Forgive Or Not To Forgive… That Is The Question

“Am I God, that I can punish you?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.  He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”  Genesis 50:19-20

What drives me to be involved in the fight against human trafficking is probably a deeply rooted and strong sense of justice.  Well, at least that is what I thought.  I was in a passionate discussion with my niece about wanting to see wrongs righted when she said… 

“I don’t like to say I have a strong sense of justice because it sounds like someone has to pay.  I like to say I have a high moral compass.”  

I was suddenly and unusually silenced…It’s always a bit humbling when someone less than half your age has a more mature perspective on hard situations.  Don’t get me wrong, I do think that traffickers and buyers need to pay.  Not today’s blog focus though.

This may seem like a brave topic right after Easter weekend where we had a big emphasis on the forgiveness that was extended to us by Jesus Christ  taking our place where we rightfully should have paid for our own wrongdoings.  I am far from a theological expert.

Truthfully, I do not necessarily equate a strong sense of justice as lack of forgiveness though.  But there are times where acting on it may seem graceless or merciless.  That can be a discussion for another day as well.

My attention is brought to the topic of forgiveness here because I have been reading the story of Joseph in Genesis this last week.  Here is a guy who was hated by his jealous brothers, almost savagely killed by them, and unfairly sold by them into slavery.  He had a whole lot of other situations that were extremely unjust but we never read about him being bitter, discouraged, or giving up.  He had plenty of time and opportunity to be offended and come up with a revengeful strategy.  

However, we see NOTHING that resembles resentment or an offended spirit when we read about the story of Joseph.  In fact, it is actually convincing that he has all along either known or been able to trust God with his circumstances.

“So it was God who sent me here, not you!”  Genesis 45:8

Who says or thinks that?!? It would take a person with incredible character and faith in God to truly believe that statement after all that he went through.  I am fascinated by him and the fact that he got it.  He couldn’t see God, but he most definitely had a special and trusting relationship with him.  

His ability to walk in complete forgiveness allowed him to be highly favored, clear headed, trust with and given authority over a whole Kingdom, have supernatural wisdom, develop leadership skills, and love unconditionally.

Joseph’s humility and ability to forgive challenges me to want to be more like him.  How incredible it would be to completely trust God with every opportunity where I am given to walk in offense.  I desire the wisdom, leadership ability, favor, and ability to love that Joseph genuinely lived out.  When I am convinced that God has a plan that is good, it will be easier for me to also say…

“Am I God, that I can punish you?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.  He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”  Genesis 50:19-20

What voice am I going to listen to?  The one that wants me to hold onto unforgiveness and make someone pay (which in the end will be me) or the one of my Heavenly Father who asks me to trust Him and forgive those who have wronged me – just as He has forgiven me.  I certainly am not deserving of His forgiveness. 

The choice is mine.  To forgive or not to forgive…that is the question.

Published by Bonnie

I am determined to live a life that is a calling beyond myself. For too many years I lived out the lies I believed to be true about who I was...or wasn't. Regardless, I was on the outside what I believed on the inside. Who told you that? More than anything, I want you to believe that you are valuable and have so much to offer to the world around you. I know you are here to do great things.

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