Monday, September 28, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
"His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.
But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them." Genesis 50:18-21
After my recent theft experience, I was left to reflect and try to gain some understanding as to why it happened. I addressed this in last week's devotional. The other thing I thought about was how to deal with this... Genesis 50:20 is an easy verse to look at when one feel's victimized. But I don't want to talk about verse 20. I want to talk about Joseph's perspective, and his statement in verse 19: "Am I in the place of God?"
Joseph had every reason to be angry and every reason to seize an opportunity to get even. But instead, he was able to see and understand that it wasn't his place to get even. Instead of using his powerful position against his brothers (they sold him into slavery), he used his position to help them, thus repairing the family relationship. Maybe Joseph knew that he hadn't always been easy to get along with (see Gen. 37:1-10)... whatever happened, Joseph realized that there was no sense in repaying evil with evil. Instead, he worked for the good of all, and looked for a way to be the solution to the problem rather than adding to the bitterness and hatred.
We all need to take a lesson from Joseph's life. Use your opportunities and positions to mend relationships and bring healing in a wounded world.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." Matthew 6: 19
Last Monday night/Tuesday morning my car was broken into. I foolishly left my wallet in my car (I thought it was out of sight, but apparently not), and someone smashed the window took the wallet, a book of CDs, a cell phone charger, and some random other things. Of course, the biggest loss was my wallet- all of the cards that were in there, my driver's license... basically most of the ways that I can be identified as being me. I spent the rest of the day calling credit card companies, speaking with people at my bank, and talking to police... trying to figure out how to put things back to the way they had been. It was definitely a day to forget.
During all of the phone calls and waiting around, I tried to see the positive: maybe someone really needed that cash more than me. Maybe someone will actually get more play out of those CDs... but everything seemed to be about the other person. I didn't want to be selfish, but really 'What was in it for me?' Answer:
All of these things can be taken in a matter of moments. All of these things can be replaced in a few hours (or through some phone calls). Many of the things that we value so much really aren't worth as much as we make them out to be.
I take comfort in knowing that the one truly invaluable thing I have cannot be taken from me.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21