December 1, 2006 print_code Print this lesson

You can't collect a balance owed from someone who can't pay. For that reason, forgive!

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 (Romans 12:21)

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 (Genesis 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 to follow.

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!