First off, congratulations to Teri, Aggiejenn, and kpjara for finding yesterday's trivia answer. The answer came from Genesis 45:22, "Genesis 45:22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment."
Yesterday's question referenced the story of Joseph. Joseph is probably one of the most forgiving people I've ever read about. In fact I talked about his story here. But I'm not going to talk about Joseph's story today. I'm going to talk about forgiveness. Today's word is "forgive."
Actual meaning: To excuse for a fault or an offense; pardon.
Meaning to me: Being willing to pardon the wrongs done to us by those around us due to Christ's love in our hearts
Forgiveness. It's so easy to say, but how many of us actually do it? Yes, I'm talking to myself here too. Think back to when you were a little kid. Some kid hit you upside the head with a snowball, and then later said he was sorry. You said, "It's fine." But the entire time you were plotting revenge. You were trying to think of the perfect way you could get that kid alone so that you could bombard him with 100 snowballs.
It's human nature. We want to get make others feel the pain they made us feel and more. We want them to know what it's like to feel humiliated. We want them to hurt. Sometimes we even want them to cry. I have a two siblings, believe me, I know all about seeking revenge!
But that isn't Christ's way. He wants us to grow up and live in His love. He wants us to forgive as He forgave. He died on a cross just to forgive our sins. Those are pretty big shoes to fill don't you think? I mean we should be willing to DIE to show our forgiving hearts to those around us.
Sometimes it isn't easy. I mean sure, it's easy to overlook a friend's faults. But what about that person who does things just to upset you? What about the person whose life goal is to bring you down? It's tougher to forgive them, but we are required to forgive them as well.
In Jesus' command to forgive in Matthew 18:22, he didn't say, just forgive the people you like. He said forgive and forgive and forgive, and well you get the picture.
Just as Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery, we must forgive those who hurt us as well. Just as Jesus forgave all of our sins, we must forgive those who sin against us.
Like I said, it isn't always easy. But the rewards are well worth it!