Joseph suffered for 13 years as a result of the brutal behaviour of his brothers. He was robbed of his freedom, ripped from his family and sold as a slave in a foreign country.
When he became successful, it would have been tempting for Joseph to make his brothers pay, even in a small way. And the perfect opportunity presented itself. Joseph had it all – position, power, prosperity – and his brothers had nothing. He could have lorded it over them.
Yet right from the start of their reunion, Joseph was gracious. He drew his brothers close and wept in their arms. He was tender-hearted and kind. His response showed the depth of his love and forgiveness for his betrayers.
How did he do that?
Joseph said something to his brothers that revealed one of the secrets to his soft heart: “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?”” Genesis 50:19
Joseph refused to judge. He saw himself as a fellow servant even though he was a lord in the land. He was saying to his siblings, “I don’t have the right to judge you and I don’t want to anyway.”
When I am angry or indignant, it is because I am judging someone else’s actions as unacceptable. But the honest truth is that we really don’t know what goes on in the lives of other people.
This is the thought which has often helped me steer clear of judgement: “Until I have lived your life and walked in your shoes, I don’t know that I would have behaved any differently.”
We don’t know
The day our daughter died, my husband and I drove home from the hospital in a daze. We were travelling slowly in the fast lane when a car drew up right behind us. The driver tooted his horn and shook his fist. Alarmed, we quickly pulled over into the slow lane.
I learned an important lesson that day. You never know what is going on in someone else’s life. You never know what is causing their behaviour.
Give and take
To receive mercy, the Bible says that we need to show mercy to other people. All too often, when someone cuts us up on the road, we retort, “What is wrong with that madman!” But then when we indicate late to turn left, we whisper, “Whoops, sorry!” In other words, we want to receive mercy but we don’t always want to show it.
It’s easy to see why God promoted Joseph. God is merciful and He wants us to be moulded into His image. Among many other heart attributes, Joseph mastered mercy.
If you want God to do a work within so that you’re ready for your destiny, I encourage you to get my new book, Doorway to your Destiny, which is based on the life of Joseph and will show you how to accelerate your transformation so that you can fulfil your God given purpose.
It is available here in the UK and here in the US. Also, we have several special events coming up: in the UK – Healed for Life for Women & Healed for Life for Youth. And in the US, our next Refresher, which is open to all, is on 30th September in Pembroke Pines FL. Hope to see you soon!