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Returning Good for Evil
by Ken Barnes
1/31/2019 / Christian Living
And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. (Genesis 45:4b-5 NLT)
There is a natural tendency in the human heart to be treated fairly, yet Joseph marched to a different drummer. He responded not just humanly, but divinely. He showed his brothers mercy instead of justice by returning good for evil.
At times in my life, I have reminded the Lord that it is tough to show grace to people when they are not showing much to you. After I made these reminders to the Lord, there would generally be a pregnant pause in the conversation. After a few moments, I would get the feeling that the Lord was saying to me, been there done that. At that point, Christ was referring me back to the Cross where he said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NLT). In this life, people will spitefully use you. Jesus taught us in Matthew 5:47that if we are only kind to our friends, is this different than anyone else? Even the non-believers do this. What distinguished Joseph from his brothers was his willingness to return good for evil. As Christians, what sets us apart from the world, it’s our willingness show grace to those who don’t deserve it. Not doing so, contradicts who we are.
As believers, are you surprised in how you have been treated by the world? Read the Book, it is part of the territory. Take courage, people may have meant it for evil, but God intended it for good.
I worked for seventeen years as a missionary with Youth With A Mission. My missionary work has taken me to Mexico, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Spain, and the Ukraine.I hold a Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. [email protected]
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