BR ELDER DR MASIMBA MAVAZA
Rest, Relationships, and Healing
Memory Text: Genesis 45:5
Forgiveness has been defined as the willingness to abandon one’s right to resentment, condemnation, and revenge toward an offender or group who acts unjustly. Dr. Marilyn Armour, a family therapist who worked with Holocaust survivors in order to find out what these survivors had done to make sense of what had happened to them, writes: “The whole idea of forgiveness is an intentional act by the victim. It’s not something that just happens.”
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that there will be no consequences. Forgiveness doesn’t mean letting an abuser continue abusive patterns. Forgiveness means, instead, that we turn our resentment and our desire for revenge over to God. If not, the anger, the bitterness, the resentment, and the hatred will make whatever that person or persons did to us even worse.
SABBATH: Johnny suffered from a miscarriage of justice, also known as wrongful conviction. A woman, Joan, adamantly identified him in a police lineup for the crime of sexual assault. After spending 14 years in jail, DNA technology exonerated him. Joan could not hold her guilt & planned to see Johnny when freed. Joan burst into tears at the sight of Johnny who told her she’s forgiven. Joan tasted grace & true rest.
SUNDAY: Life took Joseph back in time to catch a glimpse of the past. After much success in Egypt (he was a prime minister), a famine led his brothers to Egypt. The barns of Egypt was full thanks to Joseph (Gen. 41 & 41:50-52). When faced with his brothers, Joseph wanted to be sure his father & Benjamin were well & not abused (Gen. 42:7-20). God doesn’t want us to be abused/neglected (see Matt. 25:41-46).
MONDAY: As a true child of God, Joseph knew that he had to forgive his brothers if he’ll thrive in Egypt. Even before the brothers showed up, he had forgiven them. Joseph found that forgiveness is a key to healing. Yet, he disguised himself to test the mind & character of the brothers (Gen. 42:21-24, 43:34, 34:13, 37:31-34; 44). Joseph wept for them, their evil schemes had made them restless (Gen. 45:1-15).
TUESDAY: Dr. Marilyn Armour who worked with Holocaust survivors concluded that, “forgiveness is an intentional act by the victim. It’s not something that just happens.” The grounds for true forgiveness is in God’s love. He freely forgave us & we’re to freely forgive (Rom. 4:7, 8). Your wrongdoer may not deserve forgiveness but you deserve to be free from hate & bitterness (Matt. 18:21-35). Joseph freely forgave.
WEDNESDAY: Shedding tears for being a victim is a normal feeling. Joseph & Jesus wept in this regard. To forgive others, we’re first to admit that we’ve been hurt. We’re not to bury our anger but to talk freely to God, expressing the sad feeling (Luke 23:34). Christ did not wait for His wrongdoers to ask for forgiveness. He took the first step to forgive (Luke 6:28, Matt. 5:44, Mark 10:27). Forgiveness is love!
THURSDAY: Forgiveness does not always rekindle lost relationships. We may not be able to hug with our offender but we ought to verbally or by writing voice our forgiveness. When the brothers settled in Egypt finally, all dark secrets such as the fake death of Joseph were no more. Jacob was now briefed. 17 years on after Jacob’s death, the brothers were afraid of a Joseph’s revenge. Joseph showed love, instead (Gen. 47:28, 50:15-21).
FRIDAY: Joseph is a type of Christ. As he was sold to the heathen by his own brothers, so was Christ sold to His bitterest enemies. The firm virtue of Joseph made him to be cast into prison, so was Christ despised because of His holiness. Guilty of no wrong, they were condemned upon the testimony of false witnesses. Joseph & Christ forgave their offenders. “Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit.”
—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 239, 240 & Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 251.
Forgiveness- Forgiveness has been defined as the willingness to abandon one’s right to resentment, condemnation, and revenge toward an offender or group who acts unjustly. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that there will be no consequences. Forgiveness doesn’t mean letting an abuser continue abusive patterns.
Abuse- Sexual abuse & physical violence often requires outside help & intervention.
SUNDAY- Facing The Past
MONDAY- Setting The Stage
TUESDAY- Forgive And Forget?
WEDNESDAY- Making It Practical
THURSDAY- Finding Rest After Forgiveness
📌 Someone once said, “Not forgiving is like drinking poison while hoping that the other person will die.” What does this statement mean?
📌 What was the purpose of all the elaborate plans Joseph went through prior to the disclosure of his identity? What did this do for him and for his brothers?
📌 Joseph’s steward must have been in on some of the plots regarding Joseph’s brothers (e.g., Gen. 44:1-12). How does the experience of forgiveness affect those who are just observers?
📌 “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 224, 225. Think of your own life as you contemplate this statement. How could understanding this help us work through many of the trials and struggles that we face?