Joseph was primed for payback but chose forgiveness.
It’s one of my (many) favorite moments in Scripture. Joseph faces his brothers, who contemplated killing him, staged his death and kept the ruse going for years, and sold him into slavery, and says, “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.” (Genesis 50:20)
What do we do when we’re primed for payback? What do we choose?
I know we want to think we’ll choose like Joseph. Either that, or we’ll justify why that’s not a good option in our case.
Isn’t that at the core of what Joseph is declaring? Isn’t that pretty much what he declared to a variety of people he met throughout his years of slavery?
Sometimes we don’t know how we’ll respond until we’re in the situation. And what we choose in one situation might fade away or grow into another situation.
I have been there—multiple times.
If I’m honest, it’s a recent struggle for me. But I’ll share more about that another day. For now, I invite you to sit and consider how you’re responding to your “primed for payback” situation. Be honest with yourself. Why are you choosing what you’re choosing? Is it about “but…” with rationalizations of the wrongs that have been done and the injustices that need to be righted and a long list of everyone who will support you, or is it about “but God…”?
It makes a difference who we focus upon.