"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.