I read an incredible old proverb this morning about “forgiveness.” It says, “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that crushes it.” Where as I have heard that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the person you are mad at gets sick.
It is interesting that the Old Testament Bible character Joseph is really “done wrong” by non other than his own brothers. He is sold by them as a slave to the Egyptians. And just when you think things are about to turn around for Joseph for the better, he is falsely accused by his bosses wife of sexual misconduct and he ends up in jail for something he did not do. But eventually he becomes the one person who is in charge of food for an entire nation that without his leadership would starve to death because of the famine.
Now his betraying brothers come to him for help with food, not knowing that it was their brother they sold into slavery they were approaching. It was Joseph’s chance to get even and then some. Just think of it. The wronged one now has those who did him wrong under his thumb, and he as second in command only to the king in the land if Egypt has enough authority to crush them for good. There would be no problem if he would have just thrown them all into the worst prison in the land.
But, He forgives instead. They don’t apologize, they don’t make things right with him. They don’t make up for it so they deserve his forgiveness. He responds in grace. And grace is receiving something you do not deserve.
Scripture says of us something that we all know. “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” God is God!!! He is holy, powerful, and has the authority to crush us for good. But He is a God who is full of grace and despite the fact that we have offended HIM with our sin, HE the offended one offers us forgiveness through the sacrifice of His son Jesus. He, the one who has the right, the might, the ability to judge us, offers His forgiveness. It is not cheap forgiveness. The price for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ. And this price was death. But thank God He did not stay dead but rose again, thus proving He is the eternal Son of God and that His death was the sufficient payment for our sins.
So, who do you need to forgive? Perhaps a better question is, have you received His forgiveness?