The Bondage of Revenge

I’ve been reading through the life of Joseph in Genesis.  He was spoiled by his father as a young man, but did not deserve the treatment he received from his brothers, who sold him into slavery.  God was with Joseph in Egypt (where he was a slave).  God put him in places where he could use his talents and abilities to shine.  Even when things were tough (2+ years in a prison), God was with him and when the time was right, Joseph rose to the #2 position of power in Egypt.  After this happened, he encountered his brothers again.

At this time of the story, he had the power to take revenge on his siblings.  While he “put them through the ringer”, he chose not to treat them as they deserved.  Late  in the story, (after their father Jacob had died), his brothers begged Joseph to forgive them.  Here is how Joseph responded:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  Genesis 50: 20

Joseph was not trapped by the bondage of revenge.  He trusted God to take care of him and to use any circumstances that occurred for good.

I look back at times in my life and realize that choosing revenge causes bondage.  Revenge takes over my life, enslaves my mind and ties up my forward progress.  Albert Schweitzer said, “Revenge…is like a rolling stone, which, when a man hath forced up a hill, will return on him with greater violence, and break those bones whose sinews gave it motion.”

I want to live the example of Joseph and refuse to harbor revenge in my life.  Forgiveness may not be easy at times, but it is the only thing that provides freedom to move forward.

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About lancehurley

Executive Director of Ignite Church Planting: Chicagoland
This entry was posted in Bible Thoughts, Reflections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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