Relationships have lost their permanence. It does not matter whether its marriages, friendships or careers, relationships just don’t last like they once did. Perhaps part of the reason for this is because people today do not know how to handle relationships that are fractured or broken. When bad things happen between us and others, we just walk away instead of trying to fix the problem.
The Bible places a great deal of importance on peace and reconciliation. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9). God wants His children to be people of peace. Honestly though, this is not always very easy. In fact, it’s quite hard, even sacrificial to an extent.
Of all the people we read about in the Bible, Joseph may have understood this better than anyone; after all, he was sold by his brothers into slavery. Notice how Joseph handled the broken relationship with his brothers.
- Joseph handled the relationship privately (Gen. 45:1). He could have made a big spectacle in front of all his friends and servants, but he didn’t. He knew that would only make things worse. As Christians, we are to look out for the interest of others (Phil. 2:3-4). I highly doubt us making something about our relationships with others public, as looking out for their best interest.
- Joseph handled the relationship uniquely (Gen. 45:2-4). It would have been easy for Joseph to ignore his brothers and let them think he was still a slave or worse, dead. However, that’s not what Joseph did. He approached his brothers and reminded them of the relationship they once shared (“I am your brother, Joseph”). How many of us are willing to approach the people who have wronged us?
- Joseph handled the relationship maturely (Gen. 45:5-11). When Joseph stood face to face with his brothers, he did not attack them for what they had done to him. In fact, he does not even blame them. Instead, Joseph proves his maturity and trust in God by forgiving his brothers. He even invited them to come live near him so he could provide for them and their children.
- Joseph handled the relationship lovely (Gen. 45:14-15). When all was said and done, Joseph kissed and wept over all his brothers. He didn’t shake their hands or pretend like he didn’t care. He hugged and kissed each one of them. By doing this Joseph proved his love and forgiveness to his brothers.
For the first time in about 20 years, Joseph and his brothers were able to talk and enjoy being in one another’s presence all because of the way Joseph handled their broken relationship.
Friends, if you have a relationship that is broken and needs to be fixed, take time today to seek peace and mend the relationship. By taking such action others will know we are disciples of Jesus (Jn. 13:35).
Now that’s Something to Think About!