“Relational heath care requires wise, loving biblical counsel and the support of a caring community.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 27, 2022
I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly. Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father. When their message came to him, Joseph wept. Genesis 50:17
Our culture talks of a dream job, a dream house, a dream car or a dream vacation. But, what about a dream family? Not a perfect family, but a family who learns over time to love and fear God by obeying Him and serving others. A flawed group of individuals who say, “In this family: we do second chances, we do grace, we do real, we do prayers, we do mistakes, we do I’m sorry, we do forgiveness really well, we do hugs, we do love, we do family to death do us part.” Maybe a worthy goal for you is to intentionally invest in your family in a way that makes God smile and so in life’s journey you are able to celebrate a flawed, but flourishing family—a dream family.
The deep pain Joseph must have felt from the trauma of his teenage years was expressed from the flow of his forgiving tears. Fearfully, his brothers approach him now many years later wondering if their younger brother would rescue them from their starvation, and more importantly, nourish their starved souls with a feast of undeserved forgiveness. Joseph did. He forgave. Not because he had to, but because he loved and feared God. The Lord was with Joseph. When rejected, God accepted him. When falsely accused, God vindicated him. Out of suffering, God grew Joseph’s influence over a nation. Joseph forgave, because love, not hate, filled his heart.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13).
Those closest to us are often the ones hardest to forgive. Why? One reason is the greater the love, the deeper the pain when wounded by a loved one’s words. Or when we are let down by those we needed to lift us up in our time of need, not push us down with shame, guilt or the feeling of being attacked. Families are fractured and even break up for lack of forgiveness. Is the prideful pain of being right worth wrecking relationships? A better approach is to tearfully forgive, let go, trust and begin to seek help to be better. Relational heath care requires wise, loving biblical counsel and the support of a caring community.
Does your family have a plan and process on how to forgive and work on ways to keep from repeating unhealthy reactions? Start with a heart humble before the Lord confessing prideful attitudes and actions, asking Him to cleanse your heart and fill you with love, empathy and forgiveness. Continue by renewing your mind with helpful habits that contribute to relational repair. When you hurt another, simply state what you did with a genuine apology and ask forgiveness. When you are hurt say out loud that you feel the pain of being rejected, but you forgive and want to work things out. Routinely, be available to others who love you for you to share your pain. Also, have regular relational check-ups with a professional counselor. Healthy families stay in the process of forgiveness, especially when it’s hard. Dream families forgive!
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs [forgives] or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, VOICE).
Heavenly Father, I celebrate your sweet and abundant forgiveness, and with gratitude to you for your generous love, I will forgive others as you have forgiven me, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.
How can my family keep short accounts and not harbor a resentful attitude?
Sidewalk Prophets: Where Forgiveness Is
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