Tag Archives: kindness

Throwback Thursday: Joseph Forgives

 

 

 

JOSEPH FORGIVES

By Carolyn Dale Newell

 

“Now therefore, do not be afraid

, I will provide for you and your little ones.”

And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

Gen. 50:21 (NKJV)

 

Joseph spoke these words to his brothers after the death of their father, Jacob. His brothers were afraid that Joseph would harm them now that their father was gone. Joseph was Egypt’s second in command after Pharaoh, and he had the authority to execute his brothers.

 

Genesis 37 tells the story of the hatred that Joseph’s brothers had for him. All of them except Benjamin had plotted to kill him. Instead they sold their own brother to some Ishmaelite’s who took him to Egypt. Joseph was seventeen when he was ripped away from the father who loved him dearly.

 

A famine sent the brothers to Egypt searching for food. Unable to recognize Joseph, his brothers were astonished when he revealed himself to them. He assured them that he was not seeking vengeance. He knew that God had brought him there to preserve life (Gen. 45:3-5).

 

Joseph not only forgave his brothers, but he provided for them. Isn’t that what God did for us? He forgave us so much, how can we be disobedient and refuse to forgive others? Unforgiveness is a poison used by Satan. Bitterness grows and we do not exhibit the fruits of love, joy, peace and mercy.

 

In Ephesians 4:31-32, we are commanded: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

 

Has someone hurt you or betrayed you? Follow the Christ-like example of Joseph. You are never more like God than when you forgive.

 

Father,

You have forgiven us so much. Help us forgive others. Cleanse us of any root of bitterness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

DIG DEEPER

Read Gen. 37:1-35.

 

HIKING THE TRAIL

If you were Joseph, would you be able to forgive the brothers like he did? God has forgiven you so much more. Who do you need to forgive today?

 

Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Guide Dog Tales Vol. 29

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 29

By Carolyn Dale Newell

It is surprising how people offer assistance when I walk with Iva more than when I walked with a white cane. I needed more help as a cane user than a guide dog handler.

On our drive to the beach, we stopped at Cracker Barrell, one of our favorite restaurants. Iva rested quietly under our table. One year ago, to the day, (October 8) Iva and I graduated from Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Her table manners are remarkable. I recall how much she moved around during meals at school. Plus, she had a taste for the chairs. I covered that in prayer, and God answered.

I finished my salad, so Iva and I headed towards the restrooms. Iva looked for an opening to turn left as I commanded her. Skreetchingg witches, autumn displays, and customers obstructed the aisles.

Joy, the hostess, approached us, inquiring about Iva. Joy’s love for dogs shone like the mid-day sun.

She offered to escort us to the lady’s room as the crowd thickened. I have never been so grateful because she warned us about a puddle of water the toilet splashed out in the handicap stall. Iva prefers it. I coaxed Iva into a smaller one, and Joy waited for us. Joy noted how Iva watches and protects me as she walked us to the door leading outside. She chatted a few minutes. I assured her we were fine waiting for my husband. Joy slipped inside, but she returned shortly to check on us.

We never require that amount of aid, but I could not deny her. I thought of all the times I have wished someone would help. Finding someone willing to go the distance like that is rare. I prefer it to the folks who walk right by thinking I see nothing. Yes, I see some of them.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) like joy. Kindness costs us nothing. A smile to a stranger. A friendly greeting to someone at the check-out. A hug to the lonely lady at church. A few encouraging words to the cancer survivor. The hand supporting the gentleman unsteady on his feet. The arm that leads the blind.

Kindness appears to be minimal, and we forget to offer it. Our busy schedules restrain us from the few minutes that mean the world to someone else. Sacrificial moments enable us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Who can you be kind to today?