Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Turning the Abuse Around

(By Gary Roe)

I’m inspired by the Old Testament story of Joseph. He came from a highly dysfunctional family. His father had two wives and was a deceiver who played favorites. Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. Over the next 13 years he was carried off to a foreign land, mistreated, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten.

Through a series of miraculous events, Joseph the Hebrew slave became second-in-command of the powerful nation of Egypt. Several years later, a famine struck the region and when Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt for food, they find themselves face-to-face with their long-lost brother.

Joseph could have done whatever he wanted with them. His brothers were terrified and expected death, but Joseph embraced and welcomed them. He chose to forgive. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good," Joseph said (Genesis 50:19).

Joseph believed evil could be turned around and used for good. He chose to look at the positives instead of dwelling on his brothers’ rejection and abuse. He refused to be controlled by the past. He forgave his brothers, and in doing so freed himself.

That story tells me I can shed the abuse of the past. I know it happened, and I accept that. Now I’m trying to turn it around and use it for good, in my life and in the lives of those around me.

I can find ways to turn the abuse around
and use it for good.

1 comment:

Roger Mann said...

For many years I hid my abuse, pretending it never happened. My life spiraled down slowly but surely no matter what I did. It was only when I really faced it and began the hard work of reversing the attitudes, behaviors and lies that I began to become the man I can be happy with. What the enemy of my soul meant for evil, God has indeed used to help others overcome and grow. I am astonished sometimes that my life has impacted others to that degree but it is not really me. It is what God has done in my heart that has made the change. I could never have turned it around like this nor even imagined it possible.