When Jacob hears that grain is abundant in Egypt, he sends ten of his boys to buy some of it. When they arrive, they bow before the Pharaoh's right-hand man and beg for grain to feed their family. It is amazing that they do not recognize their brother even after all these years. Joseph, however, immediately recognizes them and considers making them suffer for what they did to him. Eventually, he holds onto Simeon and sends the other nine sons back for his youngest brother, Benjamin. God touched Joseph's heart at that moment, and he surrendered his anger and possibly even hatred to the Spirit and sent them back home with grain and the silver they spent for it. This is the heart of forgiveness. We not only forgive a person who has offended or hurt us; we also go the extra mile to help meet their needs. Jesus challenged His kids to do just that in the Gospels. We, however, prefer to let our flesh control the situation which normally ends badly. We put our own wants ahead of our enemies and feel justified for doing so. Joseph sets a completely different example. He allows the Spirit to direct his anger and gives his brothers more than he would have given any other strangers. That is the forgiveness God has called us to, as well.

Help me, Lord, to forgive those who have offended or hurt me. Help me to surrender my anger and hatred to Your Spirit who can radically change my way thinking towards those people.