February 12, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
Read Genesis 45:8--9
On top of his forgiveness and reassurance, he "made them an offer they couldn't refuse." He urged them to return and bring their father to this land, where they could enjoy relief from their barren existence.
Joseph said, "Brothers, I have seen a change in your lives. You care about our father and one another, and you never did before. You care about Benjamin, more than even your own lives. What a change!"
Attitude is so crucial in the life of the Christian. We can go through the Sunday motions, we can carry out the religious exercises, we can pack a Bible under our arms, and sing familiar songs from memory, yet we can still hold grudges against the people who have wronged us. In our own way---and it may even be with a little religious manipulation---we'll get back at them. But that is not God's way. Here, He shows us the right way. He gives us the example of Joseph, great man that he was, being supportive, merciful, gracious, generous, and unselfish. He's not through showing how deeply he cares for them. Look at this next scene!
"Then he fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him" (Genesis 45:14--15).
I would imagine they "talked with him!" They had about twenty-five years' worth of talking to do. And I am confident that every time they went back and started to rehearse their wrongs, Joseph stopped them. "We're not going there. That was then, this is now. God had a plan, and it's all worked out for our good and His glory. Let's talk about that."
The late great preacher, John Henry Jowett, used to say that a minister doesn't deserve an hour to preach a sermon if he can't give it in one sentence. So let me give you this sermon in a sentence: Greatness is revealed mainly in our attitude.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.