Claudia Black identifies three trademarks of a dysfunctional family in her book, It Will Never Happen to Me: (1) they don’t communicate well (2) they don’t trust one another (3) they don’t allow themselves to be emotional. Let’s face it, most families fall somewhere on the dysfunctional spectrum, including Joseph’s.
Joseph’s family was so dysfunctional that his brothers sold him into slavery. But God protected Joseph, moving him from the prison to the palace. Joseph was given a second chance and became Pharaoh’s second in command. But then God gave him the biggest challenge of all. He would come face to face with the ones who had betrayed him the most, his dysfunctional family.
Since there was a famine in the land, Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt to buy grain (Gen. 42:1–8). When they arrived, they did not recognize Joseph; they thought he was dead. After the brothers journeyed back and forth a few times, Joseph revealed his identity: “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!” (45:4). To say they were shocked would be an understatement. They were terrified (v. 3). The brother whom they had tormented now held all the power.
God may give us a second chance for the sole purpose of giving others a second chance too. It would have been understandable if Joseph put his brothers in prison and threw away the key. But he forgave those who hurt him the most and reunited with his family (vv. 5–7). He knew God had a purpose: “It was not you who sent me here, but God” (v. 8). Because of his position, Joseph was able to provide for his family in their time of need. His brothers were given a second chance because Joseph saw things from God’s perspective (vv. 9–15).
>> Are you harboring anger or hate toward someone? Pray that God will give you wisdom to see things from His perspective and offer someone else a second chance too.
Lord Jesus, as we wrestle with conflict and resentment in certain relationships, please give us a true perspective—Your perspective. Show us with equal clarity what is the right thing to do.