Luke 22:39-71; Genesis 40; Psalm 31
“Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. … Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him. (Genesis 40:21,23 NKJV)
Years ago, I had a banner that had Snoopy looking dazed and confused saying, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand.” People can be real problems. Jesus dealt with being betrayed and denied by His friends, then lied about and executed by His enemies. The Psalmist in the passage we read today had been forgotten by his friends, and Joseph, wow. Betrayed by ten of his brothers and sold into slavery, falsely accused by the wife of his master and thrown into jail. In jail, he foretold events for people by interpreting their dreams while asking one simple favor in return, they were to let Pharaoh know about Joseph. Obviously, the guy who was executed didn’t have a chance, but that butler, he got his job back with full benefits and back pay, and then betrayed Joseph by not letting the boss know about him. People are awful, let’s face it. That means our families, friends, people we work with, and strangers in the street. Oh, and we are too. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we mess up too. We usually don’t talk about it because we’re worried about what those other people did to us. Rather than asking forgiveness from them, though, we sit around and wait for them to ask our forgiveness. And so our relationships become more and more strained until they finally reach the breaking point and we say and do things we regret later.
So how was your day? Did you mess up when you dealt with someone? Is it still possible to apologize? If so, apologize. If you won’t have the chance to apologize, put it in God’s hands. Did someone offend or anger you? Was you first reaction to think of a way to get back at them? If it was, you can still forgive them. Let God remind you of how much He forgave you, and maybe you can forgive them in your heart. Just remember that when you hold a grudge you end up punishing yourself for something someone else did to you – they’ll never be affected by it.
Lord, it’s so tempting to want to get back at people who’ve hurt us. You didn’t do that, You forgave those who crucified Jesus. You forgive us when we betray or deny You. Help me to learn extreme forgiveness and how to show that in all cases when I’m hurt.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.