For the past month, I've been teaching about Joseph in Sunday School. He is my personal favorite male, Old-Testament, Bible character. He had such a rough life, yet not once did he complain. Wow! Ya, that's NOT me! But I can strive to be like him. (as he was like Jesus)
One thing in particular that has always "wowed" me about Joseph, was his forgiving heart. He willingly forgave his brothers for all that they had done to him. They hated him. Wanted to kill him. Sold him as a slave. Made fun of him, yet.....he forgave them.
Years later, when Joseph was second in command to Pharaoh, his brothers come to him for food. They didn't know that Joseph, their brother-the dreamer, was standing before them. He had the power to do anything he wanted to get even with them. BUT HE DIDN'T! Joseph didn't hold their past against them. His love for them was bigger than his hurt feelings.
How about you? Do you need to forgive someone? Yes. I know. Forgiveness is a hard thing. But what's even harder, is not forgiving. If we don't learn to forgive others -or even ourselves (That's me. I have a hard time forgiving myself)- then that forgiveness will turn into bitterness and that bitterness will become like a disease and eat us up inside. We'll get to the point to where we're we'll be so consumed with our hurt feelings that we'll ruin what God can do through us. Our bitterness will become our own stumblingblock.
If Joseph hadn't learned to forgive his brothers in the little things, he would have never been able to forgive them for wanting to kill him and selling him as a slave. Also, he wouldn't have been able to be used by God in the great way that he was. Learn to forgive others and yourself for the little things and forgiving the big things will be that much easier.
If you don't want to forgive for the sake of others, than do it for YOURSELF! Don't hold yourself back and prevent God from using you to your fullest potential! Joseph let go. Now it's your turn!