JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from Genesis 50:20.
Joseph was a godly man with great influence in the land of Egypt. His brothers had rejected him when he was a teenage boy. They were jealous of him and would not speak kindly to him. Many years later, they needed his help. When his brothers came to Egypt seeking relief from the famine, they made their appeal to Joseph, who had a choice to make. He could let the past embitter him against his brothers, or he could forgive them and offer them aid.
Joseph returned their hostility with kindness. This is a pattern similar to how God treats a world that has treated Him with hostility because of our sin. He has responded by offering us grace. He sent Jesus to the world, whose sacrifice on the cross overcame evil with good.
Near the end of his life, Joseph could look back and see the wisdom of God’s plan through the good, bad, and the ugly. He said to 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. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” That is an expression of undeserved grace, the kind of grace that can restore broken relationships.
Overcoming evil with good is a relationship-building principle to take to heart in the Year of Connection.