An unsettling thought seeped into my mind. Someone didn’t respect me. Why? Because I didn’t meet up with their personal expectations.
I looked out the window, stunned. Should I inform them of my inherent worthiness? Grieve at my helplessness in the situation? Or slam the door and walk away?
A verse came to mind. Jesus “was despised and rejected…, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) Yes, he grieved, but it didn’t change his attitude. He said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” (John 15:9)
It really can be a domino effect. Jesus treated everyone with dignity and respect, just like God treated him. We can do the same, even if we have to walk away.
Joseph thought he could forget his past. Even if his brothers had sold him into slavery, and he spent years in prison as an innocent man, now he was the second highest leader in Egypt. He could truly say, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” (Genesis 41:51) He had conquered his pain.
Twenty-two years later he meets his brothers, and Joseph realizes nothing has been dealt with. He is so confused he throws his brothers into prison for three days. It takes Joseph several years before he says, “Brothers, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” (Genesis 50:19)
Joseph faced his past. I have had to as well, and get to that same final point. God takes evil, and uses it for good.