I've read Genesis before and every time I read it I am always so in awe of Joseph and the way he is able to forgive his brothers after they were just downright evil towards him. Although, I will admit, other than loving the story of forgiveness I never really allowed the passage to speak to me the way it did today. Usually when I read this story I was think "Joseph is great. Everyone should be like that and forgive completely. I don't have a problem with forgiveness." It to an extent, that is true. I feel like I am a pretty forgiving person. I don't feel as if I hold grudges against people and am usually pretty quick to "get over" things that people do or when someone hurts me. 

Today was different. I read the story and realized I do hold grudges and I haven't been as forgiving of a person as I thought I was. I've talked about "The Daily Walk Bible" before that I absolutely love, but before you read the actually Bible verses it has a section titled, "You Daily Walk." The section relates the Bible story to issues we may have in our own lives - such a great way to be able to relate things that happened thousands of years ago to your own life today. I ended up copying almost the entire section verbatim in my journal. 

"You've probably head the phrase "I'll forgive, but I won't forget." That's really just another way of saying, "I won't forgive." For true forgiveness involves totally putting out of our mind the wrong suffered. That's the way God forgives (Ephesians 4:32), and his brand of forgiveness is the model he expects us to follow as well."

Ok, so here is where I realized I hold grudges and don't completely forgive. If the statement, "For true forgiveness involves totally putting out of our mind the wrong suffered" is true than that means, if I truly, completely forgive someone I  totally put the wrong doing out of my mind. Therefore, since it is out of my mind, I wouldn't talk about it, bring it up anymore, or share with my girlfriends months after the incident the issue that happened and how it made me feel and why it still makes me upset. Right? But I do. I do that. I do talk about things and, at times, still have a sensation that gets my heart racing or chest tighten as if the incident just happened. 

Ok, so now what? It goes on to read, 

"If you have experienced God's forgiveness in Christ, you have the greatest motivation possible for forgiving others." Have you not all experienced that? We may have and not acknowledged that we have. He has forgiven all of my shortcomings. All of my sins. All of my acts against Him. My selfishness. I know I've experienced his forgiveness because there is no way I would be able to make it though each day if my sins, my wrong doings, my shortcomings, my selfishness hung over my head and followed me around. I have experienced the peace He has given to me because of his forgiveness. I no longer have to live under the dark cloud that I so easily create for myself. 

Lord, I thank you for the peace that only total forgiveness can bring. I thank you for completely forgiving me. I ask that you open my eyes to those who I may hold grudges against or have not completely and truly forgiven. Help me to forgive others like you have forgiven me. Help me see situations like Joseph did - that you will turn what other's do against me into good.
Amen. 

After being sold into slavery by his brothers and imprisoned for many, many years Joseph reunites with his brothers. They are scared for his revenge, but Joseph tries to help them understand that he has completely forgiven them...
"Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I have today so I could save the lives of many people. No, do not be afraif. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families." (Genesis 50:18-21)



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