Remembering without Bitterness

Last week I was reading the story of Joseph in my One-Year-Bible and saw something I hadn't noticed before.

In Genesis 45, Joseph's brothers have come to Egypt to find food. These are the same brothers who threw him in a pit intending to kill him. They decided instead to make some money off Joseph and sold him as a slave, telling their dad that a wild beast had eaten him.

You know the story: Following that day, Joseph's life was a real-life illustration of Murphy's law, until finally he ends up the Prime Minister of Egypt with control over the food supply. Joseph could have had his revenge over his brothers, but chooses not to. It's a great story.

But here's the verse I found fascinating this weekend: Genesis 45:16 says "The news soon reached Pharaoh's palace: "Joseph's brothers have arrived!" Pharaoh and his officials were all delighted to hear this."

Delighted? Seriously?

Don't you figure Joseph has told Pharaoh and his officials the story? How could he have not?

If I had been Joseph, people would have heard my rags-to-riches story a billion times, and those twisted brothers would have been painted in the cruelest light possible. My tell-all autobiography as Prime Minister would have made sure everyone saw those twerps as the villains they were.

People sure wouldn't have been "delighted" to see them after I got done telling the story.

When (if) Joseph re-told his story, he had done it without a hint of bitterness towards his brothers. Joseph didn't have to be the hero of his life story, and as a result, God got to be.

Are there people in your story you tend to vilify? Parts of your story you can't tell without bitterness?

When you practice telling your story as if God were in control, you prepare yourself to act the right way when God closes the loop.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff.