DISCRETION

Now Joseph was the ruler over the land, and he was the one who sold [grain] to all the people of the land; and Joseph’s [half] brothers came and bowed down before him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but [hiding his identity] he treated them as strangers and spoke harshly to them. He said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” Genesis 42:6-8 (AMP)

Today’s devotion is about discretion. One of the meanings of human discretion is the capacity to act judiciously, being circumspect in exercising sensitivity regarding the effect of one’s conduct. Joseph displayed discretion elegantly in this case. He is now in a position of influence and power control the food supply during a severe drought, everyone depended on him to live.

Then suddenly, his painful past, his brothers the ones that betrayed him and sold him into slavery, find their way into his presence. Imagine, if you were in the place of Joseph the most powerful man on earth after Pharaoh, how would you react? Would you throw your brothers in prison as punishment for what they did to you?

Well, Joseph despite the fact that he was hurting, he did not let his emotions control him. Instead, he forgave his brothers, however, he wanted to know the condition of their hearts, whether they changed in character or whether they are still the same in as when they sold him to slavery. So he tested them.

It is very important to understand that forgiveness does not mean, I trust you please come back and things would go back to how it was before. No! The person who hurt the other must demonstrate that they can be trusted again, they must prove their true repentance through been consistent in their deeds.

A good example is the conversation that took place between the risen Christ and Peter. Let’s eavesdrop.

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus Christ and Simon Peter had this conversation in John 21:15-17 (AMP)
Jesus Christ: “Simon, son of John, do you love (agapao) Me more than these?”
Simon Peter: “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.”
Jesus Christ: “Feed My lambs.”
Jesus Christ: “Simon, son of John, do you love (agapao) Me?”
Simon Peter: “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.”
Jesus Christ: “Shepherd My sheep.”
For the third time Jesus Christ asked.
Jesus Christ: “Simon, son of John, do you love (phileo) Me?”
Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you [really] love Me [with a deep, personal affection, as for a close friend]?”
Simon Peter: “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love (phileo) You”
Jesus Christ: “Feed My sheep.

Before the conversation above, Peter told Jesus Christ that though the rest of the disciples all fall away because of Him [and doubt and disown Him], he will never fall away! (see Matthew 26:33). Peter said this only to betray Jesus with cursing and swearing in the face of death. His fear of death was greater than his love for Jesus Christ.

In the conversation above, Jesus Christ though He forgave us all when He died on the cross including Simon Peter, He proceeds to tests Peter’s character to examine whether Peter would still have the pride of bragging boldly about his love for Christ despite the fact that he betrayed him or he would humble himself and be honest.

Peter indeed passed the test. When Jesus asked him whether he loves Him, the word for love that He used was the Greek word “agapao” which means to love sacrificially as God loves sinful men. In response Peter said that he loves Him. The word that he used to express love in Greek was “phileo” which means fondness and brotherly affection. Peter’s heart posture had changed instead of pride, he had humility, he came to genuine repentance and Jesus entrusted the entire church to him.

The same principle is applied with Joseph, although he forgave his brothers for causing him so much pain. He did not excuse their behaviour, he spoke strangely to them to test their character, to see whether they came to repentance or not. Forgiveness is compulsory and the most self-loving thing ever demonstrated; it prevents the perpetrator from continually hurting the victim emotionally. However, it does not excuse the consequences of the perpetrator nor does it justify him. The perpetrators has to demonstrate through his/her actions that he/she can be trusted again.

Beloved, incase you’re hurt by someone, the first and compulsory step to take is to forgive them, don’t think about it or depend on your feelings to do it. Just consider the fact that our sins nailed Jesus Christ the righteousness Son of God at the cross, and He forgave you regardless. So with the same grace given to you extend it to others. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom to act with discretion, in order for you to know through your perpetrators actions that they have genuinely repent of their actions and that you can trust them.

Meditate on:
• Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment]. Proverbs 19:11 (AMP)
• While forgiveness undoubtedly compulsory, it does not mean, I trust you please come back and things would go back to how it was before. No! The person who hurt the other must demonstrate that they can be trusted again, they must prove their true repentance through been consistent in their deeds and words.

I would love to know what you think of this post, please comment, like and share.

❤Mimo

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