Forgive and Rewrite

Forgive and Rewrite

Today on my prayer list was a prayer for “forgiving and rewriting.” This, for  me, was a comforting reminder. To forgive is the  highest form  of obedience, often done in teeth-gritting-obedience. But the process of “rewriting” makes it easier. Rewriting means looking at the offense from God’s perspective. The best example  in Scripture is Joseph in the Old Testament. What his brothers did to him, acting out of jealousy, selling him as a slave was basically giving him a death sentence: to work in the fields of Egypt in temperatures of 140 degrees or  more, ensured an early death.


Not only was he sold, but he had to walk hundreds of miles across the hot sands; we are told in the Psalms that he had shackles cutting into his ankles and a metal ring around his neck burning in the brutal heat of the sun. And yet, when Joseph arrived in Egypt, he was not bitter, instead he was pleasant, hardworking and well liked. He had obiously forgiven his brothers and later we learn that he trusted God to have a plan in all this.


The first step of God’s plan was to have Joseph sold to Potiphar, a high ranking man, rather than to a farmer, meaning Joseph was spared an early death in the fields. And you  know the rest of the story: success as a servant; unjustly accused and thrown in jail; interpreting Pharoah’s dream and becoming the Prime Minister of Egypt.


The rewriting of the offenses against Joseph involved his thinking about God, His goodness, wisdom and power. Joseph articulated this to his worried brothers were afraid that Joseph would take revenge on them. He said, “You meant it to me for evil, but God meant it for good, to the saving of many people.” He was thinking about how he saved his family, all the Egyptians and people from the surrounding countries. But it was more than that, for in saving his brother Judah, Joseph opened the way for Jesus our savior to come. So he had a part in saving us!


That teenager sold as a slave could not have known that this would be the outcome of his life (although he had prophetic dreams indicating it), but he trusted God, embraced what came and was ready when new opportunities came.


So, when people sin against us, not only can we forgive them, but we can thank God for this unhappy event, knowing that He is orchestrating something much bigger, much greater, much better. I think of my own disciple in the Middle East turning me into the police and all the fallout from that, resulting in a trial where, amazingly, the prosecuting attorney defended us, outlining the rights we had as Christians, This ushered in a decade of great freedom to share the gospel. Forgiving and rewriting from God’s point of view frees us to join Him in what He’s doing,


And with my present situation, being attacked by my renter, slandered, sued, put under a restraining order, needing to put out large sums of money for an eviction, and in danger of perhaps losing all I own, I can forgive him and this rewrite from God’s perspective. He has a plan for good, unseen at this time, to be revealed at the right moment.  In the meantime I can offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and wait for my good Heavenly Father to be working behind the scenes to bring the good He plans.


“He who offers the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me and opens the way that I may show him the salvation of the Lord.” Psalm 54:23


This woman, burned badly by a suicide bomber, has forgiven her attackers and now uses her burns as a way to witness.