“If you’re under the impression that you are going to be great because of some accomplishment you’ve achieved but harbor wrong attitudes, you’re in for a terrible jolt. Greatness comes in sweet-spirit attitudes of humility and forgiveness toward others.” – Chuck Swindoll (Great Days with the Great Lives p.34)
Genesis 45:10-15 tells of how Joseph proved and showed forgiveness to his brothers. Instead of holding a grudge or harboring bitterness in his heart, he wholeheartedly and freely showed favor and mercy upon them. He did not brag about the greatness of his current position and situation in Egypt, but secretly wept in his chamber out of his deep longing and love for them. Such is a man with a right heart.
Swindoll emphasized in his book that it takes only God to make a man’s heart right. He gave three lessons that grew out of that single truth:
First: When I’m able, by faith, to see God’s plan in my location, my attitude will be right. Joseph knew and believed that it was God who sent him to Egypt. God had a great plan for Joseph’s life, and this is the same God who is working in our lives right now. We may not be comfortable where we are now, the situation may not be to our advantage, or we may feel that we’ve reached a dead end… but God has a bigger plan. He has a reason for planting us where we are now. It just takes a right heart and attitude to see it.
Second: When I’m able, by faith, to sense God’s hand in my situation, my attitude will be right. Joseph never questioned God. Not when he was sold by his brothers. Not when he was in prison. Not when he was forgotten by the cupbearer. Not when Potiphar’s wife lied. Never. He knew that God was in control. Instead of asking God “Why me?” and blaming Him for the things that weighed us down, sense His hand. It was never the Lord’s plan to burden us, but rather wants us to cast our burden upon Him.
Third: When I’m able, by faith, to accept both location and situation as good, even when there’s been evil in the process, my attitude will be right. As Joseph has told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Gen.50:20). Even when we feel that the situation is unfair, even when we are convinced that we were wronged, we must continue to hold on and believe that God is there to fight for us. As it is written in Romans 8:28, all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.
May God make our hearts right today.