You Only Hurt the Ones You Love
Posted in Parenting/Marriage
Scripture: “They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, ‘Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.’ So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit.” – Genesis 37: 18-21, 23-24
This spring, our Small Group started reading The Story by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. Stories in the Old Testament sometimes seem lightyears away, but I was struck anew by the story of Joseph and his rowdy, jealous brothers. We are still hurt most by ones who are supposed to love us.
Our families—husband/wife, mother/father, children—can say or do the most to really destroy us. My husband knows which buttons to press when he wants to hurt me, but the key is how I respond. If I get angry and seek to hurt him in return, it leads to a downward spiral, but if I respond in kindness and forgiveness, we go in a better direction.
I look at Joseph, who could have certainly harbored a grudge for many years, for inspiration. He got on with life and, when he had the opportunity to help those brothers, he did it. Eventually, after a lot of Old Testament goings on, he let them know who he was and that he knew that God was working through them for a better purpose. God put him in a place to help them when they needed it most.
“But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as He is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.” – Genesis 50:19-21
God puts us in places that we do not seek and gives us opportunities that we may not want, but we can use those opportunities for good—using kindness and forgiveness. Try it today. Forgive someone.
Prayer: God, thank You for all the opportunities You provide to help me exercise my patience and use forgiveness and gratefulness instead of anger and revenge. Amen.
Submitted by Janet Katz