It’s not all about me

These past weeks we’ve thought about the journeys we are on with forgiving others. We’ve used the story of Joseph as a mirror to help us. We talked about the influence of Joseph’s Uncle Esau on his life. As a young boy Joseph witnessed his Uncle Esau falling on Jacob’s shoulders and forgiving him. It undoubtedly left an indelible impression.

Then I think about my own forgiveness journeys. Lots of times I just get tired, “I can’t think about this anymore.” Or I give up, “This will never get resolved.” Or I like to hold onto a hidden little bundle of revenge, because I still feel hurt. It seems all in my court…will I offer forgiveness or not? And the implications are clear…this relationship will either continue for me, or it will end. It seems pretty cut and dried.

But I look at Esau’s decision to forgive…he probably had no idea that what he was doing might be setting the stage for what happens in the next generation of the family. Maybe what I need to ask is not so much, “Do I want to forgive?” as “Is this the legacy I want to give to the next generation?” That next generation might be your own children, your nieces or nephews, your grandchildren, or children in the church who watch a  conflict unfold. Will you leave blessings or curses behind you?

Prayer for today: Open my eyes to see the power of sin in my life. Open my eyes to see the power of forgiveness you offer. Help me choose to pass on blessings not curses.

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