But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
– Gen. 50:19-21
Joseph is one of the characters in the bible that really impressed me, not because of what he has achieved (being second to the Pharaoh in Egypt), but because of his character. He was wronged by his brothers but he still chose to forgive. You may think that what he did was illogical or stupid. But Joseph did not allow the world to dictate him. He understood that he was not God and that he had no right to withhold forgiveness to anyone. Instead, he surrendered to God everything and allowed His love and grace to flow into his life. The result: an overflow of God’s immeasurable goodness that was extended to his family and even all the other families across the globe during that time of famine.
During our bible study last Monday, the passage above was mentioned in line with our topic forgiveness. I already encountered the said passage several times, but at that moment, I saw it in a different light. I realized that it was like Jesus Christ speaking those words. Even though we harmed Jesus- hurt Him, despised Him, crucified Him-God intended it for good to accomplish what is now happening, that is the saving of many lives-salvation was given for you and me. And He did not even recount what we did wrong. He reassured, comforted and provided for us. While we’re still sinners, He loved and died for us.
As I thought of the common denominator on why my relationships with my friends were restored, it all boils down to love. Love covers a multitude of sins and keeps no record of wrongdoings, just like the love of Jesus Christ for us. Until we realize and acknowledge the depth and weight of our sin forgiven by a loving and forgiving God, only then can we unhesitantly extend forgiveness to other people.