Today's reading: Genesis 44:1-17
Joseph went to some pretty extreme measures to test the waters with his brothers. So much so that I tend to shake my head whenever I read this account. But I have to keep in mind that when Joseph's brothers arrive in Egypt, the only thing Joseph knows about them is how they hated him and mistreated him years earlier in his teens. So rather than immediately disclosing his true identity, Joseph is cautious and evaluates his brothers as he determines the best course of action to take--both in revealing his identity and in determining the nature of the relationship he will have with them in the future.
At this point in time approximately 20 years have passed, and a lot can change in that many years as people grow older and encounter various life experiences. So although Joseph's tactics may seem odd and even a bit extreme, his example served as a good reminder that we may need to exercise caution as we work toward re-establishing and restoring certain relationships. And even though it wasn't the case with Joseph, there may be times when the best and safest choice is to not re-engage or re-establish a relationship with someone if they haven't changed their negative behavior(s) and the potential for further harm and hurt remain.
What are one or two benefits of stepping back and taking some extra time when you're considering or working on re-establishing and restoring a broken relationship? What was the most important lesson you noticed or learned from this chapter? Tami
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