The Next Time You’re Sold Into Slavery

I Corinthians 13-4-7 4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boiled over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.  5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].  6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.  7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

Love takes no account of the evil done to it, it doesn’t remember a suffered wrong. I know we talked about this already, but there is so much more that can be said. Have you ever felt that you had forgiven someone, yet your feelings toward them changed because of a suffered wrong? That has happened to me! I thought that I was walking in forgiveness and love, and outwardly I was. On the inside however, I discovered that even though I wasn’t necessarily harboring resentment I just didn’t care for the ones who had wronged me. When we read this passage it says that truly walking in love means not remembering a wrong that is done to us. If we don’t remember the wrong someone did, the way we feel about them shouldn’t change. 

A great illustration of this is Joseph. In Genesis 37, his brothers sell him into slavery. He was a slave for quite some time, eventually got thrown in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, but ended up interpreting the kings dreams and then became the second most powerful man in Egypt. A famine was in the land, and people came to Joseph from all over to get food. In Genesis 42: 5-8 5So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who came, for there was hunger and general lack of food in the land of Canaan. 6Now Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was who sold to all the people of the land; and Joseph’s [half] brothers came and bowed themselves down before him with their faces to the ground. 7Joseph saw his brethren and he recognized them, but he treated them as if he were a stranger to them and spoke roughly to them. He said, Where do you come from? And they replied, From the land of Canaan to buy food. 8Joseph knew his brethren, but they did not know him. Let’s stop right here. If anyone had a right to have a heart change towards someone, it was Joseph. But instead of taking revenge, he exercised kindness to them. In Chapter 45 we see in verses 1-5 1THEN JOSEPH could not restrain himself [any longer] before all those who stood by him, and he called out, Cause every man to go out from me! So no one stood there with Joseph while he made himself known to his brothers.  2And he wept and sobbed aloud, and the Egyptians [who had just left him] heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard about it. 3And Joseph said to his brothers, I am Joseph! Is my father still alive? And his brothers could not reply, for they were distressingly disturbed and dismayed at [the startling realization that they were in] his presence.  4And Joseph said to his brothers, Come near to me, I pray you. And they did so. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt!5But now, do not be distressed and disheartened or vexed and angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. And in 15 Moreover, he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers conversed with him.  What an example for us to follow the next time we are kidnapped and sold into slavery, or face any other kind of  wrong treatment in our lives.

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