Happy Monday! We are reading the Bible chronologically this year, using the plan you can find here. I love reading the Bible all the way through. Each time, God shows me something I never saw before or that I didn’t pay very much attention to before. I pray this is happening for you as well and that you’ll share with us! If you didn’t start from the beginning, you can jump in any time or comment on any post!
Forgiving someone is hard. I mean, let’s talk about Joseph for a second. The man’s brothers were planning to kill him, but then they decided to be “kind” and simply sold him into slavery instead. Being sold into slavery is heinous beyond anything we can comprehend. But being sold into slavery by your very own family? The Bible says pretty much nothing about how Joseph felt about this betrayal. All we know is, many years later when he was faced with his brothers again, Joseph forgave.
Know what we rarely talk about? Accepting forgiveness is hard. Sometimes, we carry our acts so deep inside ourselves that we can’t even forgive ourselves, even after God and everyone else has let it go. I’ve been there. For years I beat myself up over something I did. I knew God had forgiven me. I knew others had. But I kept rehashing it. I kept waiting for the punishment. When I finally accepted that
God had truly forgiven me and I forgave myself as well, then there was freedom. Satan couldn’t hold that over me anymore.
Look at Joseph’s brothers. He told them he forgave them. He gave them a place to live, saved them from famine… He welcomed them with open arms. Yet, the minute Jacob their father died…
“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is h
olding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.”
(Genesis 50:15, HCSB)
Wait, what? The man couldn’t have done more to show forgiveness and yet, years after Joseph told him he’d let it all go, here they are, worried again that he will come after them for the past. It’s like they’ve been continuing to live in the fear of reprisal all along.
When someone has forgiven you, it’s time to let go. Don’t treat the relationship as thought they haven’t. Don’t keep walking around expecting them to suddenly turn on you and “unforgive” you. Move forward from now, not from the past. Stop the old behaviors and thought processes. Don’t be Joseph’s brothers, missing the beauty of the day because you can’t accept the freely given gift someone else has given. Don’t let Satan steal one more minute of what God has restored.
This week’s reading:
Monday: Exodus 10-12
Tuesday: Exodus 13-15
Wednesday: Exodus 16-18
Thursday: Exodus 19-21
Friday: Exodus 22-24
Saturday: Exodus 25-27
Sunday: Exodus 28-29