Forgiveness in Action

Jane Douglass White

READ : Genesis 45:1-11


Chapters 41-45 in Genesis tell us that God so blessed Joseph that Pharaoh appointed him prime minister with powers second only to himself. If you have time, read those chapters. Joseph was always faithful to God, acting fairly and wisely.

A famine came and Joseph’s brothers had to come to Joseph for food. Joseph chose to forgive them, rather than seek revenge for the wrong they had done him. He said to them: “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Gen. 45:5). Joseph was not thinking of himself, but of doing God’s will.

If we, like Joseph, meet disappointments by looking at God rather than the event, we can go through any storm undefeated. When we dwell on a hurt, harboring hateful thoughts of the person who hurt us, we are that person’s prisoner. Anger keeps us from being the joyful persons God wants us to be. When we ask God to help us forgive that person, we are free. Then whenever we start to remember that person, if we choose to pray for him or her, we “resist the devil and he will flee” (Jas. 4:7).


Lord, it isn’t easy to forgive. Help me, like Jesus, to forgive. In His precious name. Amen.