E100 Devotions – Day 14

May 19, 2012

Reading: Genesis 43-44

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
1 Peter 4:8

Joseph’s life gives us a good example of a man who made decisions not to allow life’s experience define him.  Although he did not let life’s betrayals make him bitter, Joseph’s life shows us that some hurts are so deep they take time and gradual pressure from God to get them out in the open.

But we can learn from Joseph how to properly respond to our anger and grief that comes as a result of our disappointments and pain.  When Joseph was with his brothers and reflected on all that was seemingly lost as a result of what they had done, Joseph dealt with his anger by buying some time to process his feelings before reacting.

Then Joseph left suddenly, because his heart was full of tender feelings for his brother. He was about to break down, so he went to his room and cried.
Genesis 43:30

Joseph didn’t blow his brothers away, because he loved them.  That’s why lashing out is the worst thing you can do when you’re angry. Joseph wisely finds a private place to weep. Because honest grieving is an essential step in gaining healing from our wounds.

We learn from his life that anger isn’t necessarily wrong, as anger can be justified (Genesis 37:12-28)   But, uncontrolled anger can lead to sin in our lives.

“And don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27  for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT) 

My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.
James 1:19-20

As you go about your day follow Joseph’s simple steps to empower you to win over the disappointments and hurts of life by:

a.  Taking the time to step away from the situation; don’t lash out

b.  Give yourself permission to grieve your loss and pain.

c.  And then allow love and true forgiveness to lead the way in your decisions and responses.

“Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. 5 But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.
Genesis 45:4-5

And Joseph kissed all his brothers and cried as he hugged them. After this, his brothers talked with him.
Genesis 45:15

d.  Finally allow the love of God to bring you to a place of healing

To all who mourn in Israel he will give: Beauty for ashes; Joy instead of mourning; Praise instead of heaviness…
Isaiah 61:3

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