Joseph had every reason under heaven to hold hatred, resentment, bitterness or just plain old anger in his heart towards his brothers. It was not his fault that his father favoured him. He did not ask for dreams of greatness. Yet his siblings tried to destroy his destiny because they were jealous.
He was just a teenager when they turned on him. As a consequence of their cruelty, 13 years of Joseph’s life were seemingly flushed down the drain. For many, our twenties are formative years of education or training, marriage or career. Joseph spent them in captivity.
You can’t hold a good man down
Despite horrible hardship and cruel delays, Joseph’s promise eventually came to pass. One moment he was forgotten in prison, the next he was promoted to prime minister of Egypt.
Then his dreams unfolded before his eyes. Like sheaves of corn, Joseph’s brothers showed up and bowed before him. He was face to face with the men who tried to destroy him. It was the perfect moment for him to show them who was boss.
However, there is not a moment in the account of his reunion when we see anything other than love and mercy. His words sought to reassure them. His hugs conveyed his affection. His generosity displayed his desire for their well-being.
These were the actions of a forgiver. Joseph had let go of anger and he was full of love. Forgiveness paved the way for him to fulfil his destiny as a saviour of Israel.
Forgiveness is never fair
Our first child became sick before her second birthday. She was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and was admitted to a paediatric ward. Naomi was normally such a chirpy child but was now limp and lifeless. She needed help.
Regrettably, the doctor on duty was bent on getting a urine sample before giving my little girl antibiotics. She had not drunk a drop that day so this was proving terribly problematic. Crucial hours passed by.
Desperate for the medics to give her something to stop the spread of what we now know was a bacterial infection, I pressed down on my daughter’s tiny tummy until I squeezed out a drop of urine into a bowl. I then called to the doctors to give her the antibiotics she so urgently needed.
The aggressive infection had spread through her blood stream and eventually caused multiple organ failure. A simple injection of an antibiotics on admission to hospital would have saved her life but my baby girl died. It felt as though our world had collapsed around us.
Medical reports and subsequent reviews confirmed that the hospital was negligent and steps were taken to ensure this could not happen again.
As we began to pick up the pieces, my husband and I made a decision. With tears streaming down our cheeks we knelt down together in prayer and forgave the doctor who neglected to give her the drugs that could have saved her life.
Every time she came to mind, we prayed that God would bless her and give her great wisdom. It was like laying aside a heavy boulder. With the anger of injustice laid aside, we could focus our energy on receiving our restoration. Forgiveness cleared the way for God to completely heal our hearts.
Let’s get free
The devil tries to keep us focused on injustice so that he can keep us bound by unforgiveness. The Bible says that “resentment destroys” and that bitterness poisons (Acts 8:23). We are the ones who suffer the most when we hold onto any anger.
I do not know who has done what to you, however, I do know that holding on will hinder your healing and may even harm you long term. If you’re ready to forgive, simply go to God in prayer and tell Him what happened and how it made you feel. Then tell Him you choose to let go. Tell the Lord out loud that you forgive. You will be amazed how free you will feel.
If you want to be free from the past so that you can fulfil your purpose, I encourage you to order my book 30 Day Detox for your Soul from Amazon. Also, come to Healed for Life, our transformational event that helps get you ready for your destiny. See jonaughton.com for details