Revenge belongs to God. If vengeance is God’s, then it is not ours. God has not asked us to settle the score or get even. Ever.
Why? The answer is found in Joseph’s statement: “You meant to hurt me, but God turned your evil into good to save the lives of many people, which is being done.”
Forgiveness comes easier with a wide-angle lens. Joseph uses one to get the whole picture. He refuses to focus on the betrayal of his brothers without also seeing the loyalty of his God.
It always helps to see the big picture.
Some time ago I was in an airport lobby when I saw an acquaintance enter. He was a man I hadn’t seen in a while but had thought about often. He’d been through a divorce, and I was close enough to it to know that he deserved some of the blame.
I noticed he was not alone. Beside him was a woman. Why, that scoundrel! Just a few months out and here he has another lady?
Any thought of greeting him disappeared as I passed judgment on his character. But then he saw me. He waved at me. He motioned me over. I was caught. I was trapped. I’d have to go visit with the reprobate. So I did.
“Max, meet my aunt and her husband.”
I gulped. I hadn’t noticed the man.
“We’re on our way to a family reunion. I know they would really like to meet you.”
“We use your books in our home Bible study,” my friend’s uncle spoke up. “You’ve got some great insights.”
“If only you knew,” I said to myself. I had committed a common sin of the unforgiving. I had cast a vote without knowing the story.
To forgive someone is to admit our limitations. We’ve been given only one piece of life’s jigsaw puzzle. Only God has the cover of the box. To forgive someone is to display reverence. Forgiveness is not saying the one who hurt you was right. Forgiveness is stating that God is fair and he will do what is right.
After all, don’t we have enough things to do without trying to do God’s work too?
Today’s devotional is drawn from Max Lucado’s Cast of Characters.