The word "forgive", as defined in the Webster's Dictionary means to
absolve from payment; "I forgive you your debt". It also means to
stop blaming or to grant forgiveness.
In today's world forgiveness is rarely a way of life. All
to often, we force others who have hurt us to "pay" for their actions.
Rather than forgiving them or "absolving them from payment or granting
forgiveness" we tend to try to force others to pay us back.
What does the bible say about those who have committed evil against
us? It plainly states that we overcome evil with good
A good example of overcoming this attitude of evil with good can be
seen in the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50).
He had every opportunity to be resentful toward others, especially his
brothers, but he refused to do so. Joseph kept a good attitude
even when circumstances seemed greatly unfair.
When Joseph was just a boy, his brothers sold him into slavery
37). The slave traders took him to Egypt, where, "to make a long
story short", "Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt, had a dream, which
Joseph interpreted to mean that Egypt would have seven years of plenty
followed by seven years of famine". Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph
being able to interpret the dream, that he placed him in charge of
Egypt's entire food supply. During the first seven years Joseph stored
food so that the country would survive during the seven years of famine
After a few years of famine, Egypt was the only place around that had
food left. You know the old saying "be careful what you do to someone
now because you may need them later"? Well sure enough, Joseph's
brothers came to get food. Joseph could have demanded that his
brothers repay him for selling him into slavery. But he didn't.
Instead, He forgave them; he canceled their debt.
We're all going to have choices in the future to either exact what is
owed or like Joseph to simply forgive.
We need to learn to forgive!