I have often invited people hurt by others to write out their IOUs, that is, what the offending one owes them.  I tell them I would understand if they could not release forgiveness, but then I encourage them to carry around the IOU as a reminder of what unforgiveness really means.  I share with them that forgiveness means that they are willing to tear up the IOU Many have found freedom by ripping up the debt and releasing others for God to deal with them in His justice and mercy.

FORGIVENESS IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN.  Imagine if God were to say, “You have hurt me too much; I cannot forgive you.”  But He says instead, “I forgive you.” Jesus said at the cross, “Father, forgive them,” giving us the power to forgive.  Loved people are able to love; forgiven people are able to forgive. Forgiveness means that we give up our “right” to get even. We exercise the power that was released at the cross. Forgiveness is not excusing the offense. We are not saying, “Oh, that’s okay.”  We are not letting the offender off the hook, as if it never happened. It’s not a matter of pretending an offense never happened. I don’t forget the pastor who hurt me at seminary, but by forgiveness I have erased the emotional response. Forgiveness is not easy.  It wasn’t for Joseph or for Peter, who felt his ultimate ability to forgive offenses would stop at about seven. Jesus called him to forgive seventy times seven.

FORGIVENESS IS BELIEVING THAT GOD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE OFFENSE. Only God can reverse the irreversible.  Only He can heal broken hearts, shattered lives.  And He can even use the pain of the offense to sanctify the offended as well as to heal the offender.  The cross is the place of the greatest offense ever—and it is the place where God’s power is shown most clearly. Forgiveness sees the offender as broken, imperfect, and needing forgiveness, just as we do.

If God has allowed us to be hurt, offended, or stepped on, He is able to defend us. And He can use this event in our lives to draw us closer to Him.  If we respond to injustice in a godly way, we find His approval, just as Jesus did (I Peter 2:20-25). We need to forgive out of obedience, even if we don’t feel like it, because it is the will of God.  Holiness is a higher goal than happiness. We are wanting to please God more than ourselves. Those who have grace to thank God in the midst of suffering are going the way of the cross. God will pour out His mercy upon them. It is not illegal to suffer unjustly.  Don’t wait until the offender confesses—forgive freely. And if we are involved in the offense, we don’t wait until the other party confesses; we take the lead, even if we see it as only 10% of the guilt. God will honor our humility. Don’t “wheel and deal,” thinking, “I’ll do my part if they do theirs.” You are giving in to God more than to the other person.


  • Am I blaming anyone for my unhappiness? I should not give another person the power to make me miserable.
  • Am I keeping score with anyone?
  • Am I reacting with a ten on a problem that’s a three? (May be a clue to unresolved anger).
  • Am I carrying around an IOU, or have I released people from the debts they owe me? 



UNFORGIVENESS IS PLAYING GOD.  He said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”  To forgive is to give up the right to get even, a prerogative of divinity. Joseph said to his brothers, who expected revenge, “Am I in the place of God?” (Genesis 50:19). Unforgiveness puts us on the slippery slope of having to be the judge of another person.  We are simply not qualified. That is one reason why we feel oppressed when we refuse to forgive—we are entirely out of our element. 

UNFORGIVENESS IS BEING IMPRISONED BY THE PAST.  We replay the video of the crime over and over in our minds and feel the pain each time, as if it just happened, keeping our resentment up to date.  These destructive emotions put us behind bars of torment (Matthew 18:34,35). We thought we were punishing the offender, but we are the imprisoned one. As we replay the video, we define ourselves by our history:  “I am the one who was abused…who was left by my spouse…who was rejected by my parents…who was fired.” We lock into our past and close off the future. We are playing the role of victim, and victims have no future, only a miserable past.



and realizing the prisoner is you. It is ironic, since our reason to withhold forgiveness may be that we want to keep the offender obligated to us, or at least dish out some punishment.  In fact, we punish ourselves, and release comes only through forgiveness. Forgiveness releases us from the past, so we can walk into our future. Joseph showed that he was not holding onto his painful past in the way he named his children.  He called his firstborn Manasseh, saying, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house” (Genesis 41:51). He named his second son Ephraim, for “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (v.52). He could have been tied by regret to his past with a series of “if only’s.”  “If only my brothers had not been so cruel…” “If only my father had not been so foolish…” “If only Potiphar had not believed his foolish wife…” “If only I had not ended up in Egypt…” Instead of letting his past identify him, he walked in forgiveness—and into a prosperous future. Do you have any “if only’s”?


that people owe us because of their offenses.  The Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”  When we are hurt by others, they become our debtor. We carry around an imaginary IOU until we forgive them.  When we think of them, we remember what they owe us, and we say in our hearts, “Pay up!” Most people probably won’t pay back their debts.  We need to forgive the debt as God has forgiven us. When people are willing and able to do this, they experience new freedom. For some, it takes time for the emotions to catch up with the actions. Forgiveness is not something we feel; it is something we do. We agree to release others from the debts they owe us, whether we feel forgiveness or not, because it is the will of God and because it is for our good.  The emotions will usually follow the act of forgiveness. As a wise counselor once said, “It is easier to act your way into a new way of feeling, than to feel your way into a new way of acting.” (Part 3 next to finish this series).


A father promises a fishing trip but doesn’t deliver.  A friend shares a trusted secret. A spouse regularly puts down the partner in public.  A parent nags incessantly. Theoretically, it seems right to forgive. “Let’s be gracious,” we muse.  Then it happens to us. We’re betrayed, embarrassed, ridiculed, resisted, deceived, overlooked. It doesn’t feel anywhere near nice. Our first thought is to defend ourselves or fight. We are angry, and we want to get even.

 I have preached sermons on forgiving. Easier to preach than live.  When I was humiliated as a seminary student by a young hot-shot pastor at a reception, I wanted to disappear.  I felt trapped. Years later I realized that I was still carrying resentment. We need to walk free from that bitter poison. I once pleaded with a young man to forgive his family who had hurt him deeply.  He said he couldn’t. A few years later he died, still poisoned by rage. The following motivations to forgive may help you.



though it often seems like it.  When we are hurt, our sense of justice kicks in.  We can feel a duty to get even through unforgiveness.  Forgiving when we have been hurt can seem cheap, like denying the fact that we are wounded.  Unforgiveness appears more reasonable than forgiveness, but it is not. St. Paul says that we are not debtors to the flesh (Romans 8:12), and hanging onto resentment coddles our sinful nature.  Joseph’s brothers expected him to get even, because they would have. But he rose above revenge, feeling a greater obligation to God than to his own selfish nature. People absorbed in unforgiveness often embrace self-pity.  “You owe it to yourself,” they think. But those willing to let go of unforgiveness say, “You owe it to God.”

UNFORGIVENESS PUTS CANCER IN OUR SOUL.  It takes great emotional, physical, and spiritual energy to withhold forgiveness.  We hold to unforgiveness because we feel a need to hurt those who have hurt us. In fact, we hurt ourselves.  The offender may not even know we are resentful. 

UNFORGIVENESS GIVES SATAN AN OPPORTUNITY TO FURTHER DEFEAT US. Paul writes, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26,27).  A young man was brought to a renewal meeting by a pastor who thought he was demon-possessed. We discovered that because of his severe abuse, which led to unresolved anger, he had opened the door to satanic attack.  When the door was closed through forgiveness, he experienced freedom. Anger is like manna; it is only good for one day. After that it mildews and poisons the soul. When we are angry, we sometimes clench our fists. When we remain angry, our soul is clenched, making it impossible to receive from God. That is why we are commanded to put away anger before receiving the word of God (James 1:21).  Our friend had been more open to Satan’s attack than to God’s blessing. (Part 2 coming).


A father promises a fishing trip but doesn’t deliver.  A friend shares a trusted secret. A spouse regularly puts down the partner in public.  A parent nags incessantly. Theoretically, it seems right to forgive. “Let’s be gracious,” we muse.  Then it happens to us. We’re betrayed, embarrassed, ridiculed, resisted, deceived, overlooked, and it doesn’t feel anywhere near nice. Our first thought is to defend ourselves, fight, or get even. We are angry, and we are not sure what to do with it.  I have preached plenty of sermons on forgiving. It is easier to preach than practice. When I was humiliated as a seminary student by a young hot-shot pastor at a reception, I wanted to disappear. I felt trapped. Years later I realized that I was still carrying resentment. We need to walk free from that poison. I once pleaded with a young man to forgive his family who had hurt him deeply.  He said he couldn’t and wouldn’t. A few years later he died, still poisoned by bitterness. A sad departure. We have all struggled to forgive to the point that a civil war raged within. The following truths may help you to become a good forgiver.


IS NOT AN OBLIGATION. Seems like it.  When hurt, our sense of justice kicks in.  We can feel a duty to get even through unforgiveness.  Those willing to let go of unforgiveness say, “You owe it to God,” the one who “forgives all your iniquities” (Psalm 103:3), who “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (I John 1:9).

PUTS CANCER IN OUR SOUL.  It takes emotional, physical, and spiritual energy to withhold forgiveness.  It taxes our whole being and can make us physically sick.

GIVES SATAN AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEFEAT US. Paul writes, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26,27).  

IS PLAYING GOD.  He said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19).  To forgive is to give up the right to get even, a prerogative of divinity.

IS BEING IMPRISONED BY THE PAST.  We replay the video of the crime over and over in our minds and feel the pain each time.


IS RELEASING THE PRISONER, and realizing the prisoner is you (Louis Smedes).

IS TEARING UP THE DEBT that people owe us because of their offenses.  The Lord’s Prayer says, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12).  When people are willing to do this, they experience new freedom. For some, it takes time for emotions to catch up with actions. Forgiveness is not something we feel; it is something we do.  

IS POSSIBLE BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN.  Imagine if God were to say, “You have hurt me too much; I cannot forgive you.”  He says instead, “I forgive you.” Then we do to others as has been done to us! “In him we have redemption the forgiveness of our sins” (Col. 1:14).

IS BELIEVING THAT GOD IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE OFFENSE. Only God can reverse the irreversible.  Only He can heal broken hearts, shattered lives.  If God has allowed us to be hurt, offended, or stepped on, He is able to defend us and heal us. And He can use this event in our lives so we become healing agents of His love!

REBOOT (part two)

I have seen people forgive an abusive father for years of suffering, thank God. But there’s another part to their healing, that God was at work even in their painful journey, working out His holy will. We don’t put that time in the “liabilities” category, forgive Dad, and go on to a better life, knowing that he ruined the first twenty years.

Joseph saw that even though his brothers were guilty of a crime, God was preparing him to become the Prime Minister of Egypt, using even a bad decision of brothers to accomplish it. So even the prison time was in the “assets” column. Like Dan Siemens once said to me, “God doesn’t waste anything.” Truly “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Rom.8:28). God purposed to use Joseph to save His people in time of famine, and Joseph understood that getting good was more important than getting even.

Joseph said to his brothers,, “So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones” (Gen. 50:21). Not a shred of hostility. He didn’t need to remind them a month later of what they had done, so he could beat them down with guilt and shame. When we feel the need to remind people of past hurts, we have not fully forgiven.

The passage finishes, “Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (21b). The assaulted one should be comforted, the one who spent years in prison. Instead, the victim is comforting the assailants, showing kindness that could only come from submitting to a God who works all things together for good.

When Paul wrote to his friends in Philippi, he said, “I want you to know, brothers that what has happened has really served to advance the gospel” (1:12). That is the way he interpreted his imprisonment. Others might have said, “What a bummer!” Not Paul. He got thrown for a gain, because he learned like Joseph to believe in the sovereign action of God in the midst of pain.

Josh McDowell, who has probably spoken to more college kids than any person on the planet, grew up with an alcoholic father. At a point in a radio interview, the host said, “So you had the wrong dad.” Josh responded, “No. I never would have been doing what I am doing had it not been for my dad. God used it all for good.” So rather than forgiving his father for ruining his life, he forgave him for the emotional abuse but managed to see God’s goodness through the hardship.

May you be willing to forgive those you are close to for lesser crimes. May you show them consistent love rather than reminding them of what they have done to you. The clearest thing that we can say about the past is that it is past. We deal with it through forgiveness, so we don’t drag it with us to the present.

Let these stories help you be the best version of yourself. Don’t expect the best when you give the worst, but give the best and wait for it to come, maybe in time. Want to give it a try? Then reboot, by giving and receiving forgiveness. A restart can send you in a new direction.


  1. v.  the act of shutting down and restarting something (such as a computer). Errors can cause software to cease operating, requiring a reboot, a fresh start.

Easy to do with electronics. Not so easy with life. We all have history, a past, sometimes a painful one, and what is not healed we carry into the present as wounds that often fester. The best way to deal with the past is through forgiveness. It’s like rebooting–we start over. Works!

Forgiveness is often misunderstood. It does NOT mean that we

  • Try to pretend it didn’t happen or say it didn’t really matter
  • Try to trust people who have broken trust through unkindness
  • Try to relate to them as we did before, like making an abused wife return to the husband

Forgiveness DOES mean…

that we tell people who have hurt us that they don’t owe us anything. Jesus encouraged us in the Lord’s Prayer to say, “Forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors” (Matt.6:12). People who hurt us owe us something–kindness, an apology, time, respect. Rather than demanding, “Pay up,” we are saying, “You don’t owe me anything. I am forgiving the debt and not requiring it of you.” Any I.O.U.’s we have in our thinking we tear up to leave the past and step into the future. We will not make a harbor for unforgiveness.

If we do, it keeps us tied to our past.  And it keeps us in torment. Jesus said that if we refuse to forgive, we are delivered to tormentors until the debt is paid (Matthew 18:34). This includes demonic assault. Unforgiveness expresses itself in hostility,  even when we are unaware of it.

Squeeze a container of toothpaste and what comes out? What is inside, probably toothpaste. When we get squeezed by life’s hardships, what comes out is what is on the inside. Joseph’s brothers were guilty of selling him down the river. When Joseph got to Egypt, he went from a servant to a slave, locked up in prison. Rather than being bitter with brothers and resentful toward God, Joseph managed to make the best of a bad thing. He passed his basic training, Officers’ Training School,  and was finally awarded a PhD in character and was made the second most powerful man in the world. When he exposed his brothers’ sin and revealed his identity, they assumed that he would get even. They lied to him, saying that their father had told them to speak to Joseph about forgiving them. What came out was tears. He was broken, not bitter.

Then he said, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?” (19). God says, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” Joseph understood that his role was not to get even but to give love. We can understand when people say, “I can’t forgive them for what they did,” but sadly it will eat up their insides. They think they are getting even. In fact, they are hurting themselves. Forgiveness releases the guilty, but it also sets the victim free.

Joseph remarkably saw God at work through pain. He said, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive” (20). People who see God at work in times of pain have a God bigger than their sorrows. So they forgive rather than getting even, as Joseph might have done had he stored up resentment. Way to go, Joe. (Part 2 coming).


It will allow you to live above offense–in your family, your marriage, your life. Practice it.


His first word from the cross was forgiveness. It kept his heart from crying out for justice. Never  such an unjust crime as was done to the Son of God. We killed a perfect man and let a criminal go free. Christ’s heart could have convulsed with the need for justice.  He chose to operate with the mercy system rather than the merit system. The thief who was railing against him heard those words of forgiveness: “Father, forgive them…” At some point they sunk in, and he modified his speech. Forgiveness is powerful; it can change people. He made a request: “Remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). What revelation! He identified in eight words that Jesus was a king, that he ruled over a kingdom, and that he would defy death and live forever.

That request changed his life (the last hours)–and his eternity, because Jesus knew how to forgive. You and I will change people if we learn to be good forgivers. Jesus was not bargaining, saying, “If I overlook this offense, I’ll get something back.” This was unilateral forgiveness, without any need to make a demand for justice. A sense of fairness will keep me from extending forgiveness. Desiring what is fair will limit my ability to show grace. What people need is not our being fair but our being merciful. Jesus forgive the woman caught in adultery. It most likely changed her life. He forgave the woman from Samaria who had five husbands. It revolutionized her life. Whose life might you change through forgiveness? “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (Js. 2:13). Let it triumph in your relationships.


His brothers sold him down the river. His next thirteen years were anything but pleasant. He went from servant of Potiphar to slave in prison. Instead of being the honored son in a special coat, he was the overlooked slave in a dungeon. Until he received a PhD from heaven in character and was appointed prime minister of the strongest nation in the world. Rather than seeking vengeance, he forgave his brothers freely, though they lied to him by saying that their father had given a message to Joseph through them to extend forgiveness. Instead of calling them out for deception, he wept at what he heard. Then he said, “Am I in the place of God?” (Gen. 50:19), meaning that getting even is God’s department, not ours. Their terrible injustice was answered with total forgiveness. Then he reinterpreted history, saying, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (20). He too was not operating with the merit system but with the mercy system. He knew how to forgive. I want to forgive like that. Don’t you?


Imagine if God kept record of sins. Picture the reams of paper. Warehouses of files, stored as evidence of our foolish behavior, our shameful thoughts. What if He decided to go public, to expose all of it? The court is in session and the judge enters. The guilty one is offered no lawyer for the defense. Condemnation awaits you.

Breaking the dreadful silence, the judge announces that all evidence against you has been lost. You knew that no one could aid you with the insurmountable charges. Now all documents have been annihilated. Case dismissed! You hear further that the judge himself wiped out the files. You discover that the one you feared is responsible for your release. Strangely, it causes you to fear more, to honor his greatness.

The psalmist cried out, not to a casual friend but pleading for mercy from a holy God. He called from deep within, refusing the solace of the night and unable to silence the piercing arrows of a guilty conscience: “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 130:1,2).


Then the revelation breaks through: “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared” (3,4). Peace replaces anguish. Those who see God as righteous, themselves as sinful, and discover afresh the mercy of God do not take advantage of such kindness. We don’t pull out the forgiveness card every time we step over the line, so we can step over again. His goodness has led us to repentance.

Then his posture changes from crying out in need to waiting in confidence. He uses the word “wait” five times in two verses: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning” (5,6). How do they wait? Hopefully, expectantly. That is how he positions himself before this gracious God. Anxiety has been replaced by hope, anchoring his soul in the mercy of God rather than the dread of revenge. Those who think God is punishing them for something they did a decade ago may worship a monster, but they won’t love him. The psalmist confidently hopes for what he knows—a rich future with a merciful God.

He grows so confident that he now wants to go public: “O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love, and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins” (7,8). He knows of others oppressed by guilt, weighed down by shame. He proclaims to fellow Israelites that sins do not keep a broken sinner from a merciful God, that God fully redeems us in His love.

We don’t ignore the need to cry out in our sin as if it doesn’t matter. Guilt can drive us crazy, so we go to the one place in the universe where it can be properly disposed. And once again, contrary to our heart that condemns, we find a God who receives—and who relieves us of the tyranny of a criminal sentence. To our amazement, we discover afresh one of the most liberating truths in all the world—God does not keep score! So we don’t need to either!


As a student at UCLA I worked with a guy named Hal Lindsey. Through his influence I went to Dallas Seminary two years, then finished at Luther Seminary. At Dallas I was given the answers; at Luther I got the questions, but they didn’t match, and I struggled emotionally. Fears replaced confidence. At times I thought I was going crazy.

I attempted to get close to fellow students, but they rode on a different track. While at a reception, I was introduced to a young pastor they all considered cool. He said to me in front of them, “I know you. You’re the good basketball player—and a little weird.” They laughed–I died inside. Someone had just exposed me. Had I not been operating at such a fragile level, I might have responded, “Hey Pardner, I am weirder than you think.” But because I heard what I thought might be truth, I couldn’t manage a response.

Garbage is waste material. People don’t store smelly garbage, they toss it. But even garbage can be used productively. Think compost.Some people enjoy collecting garbage, then dumping it on others. I had a load dumped on me that night. So have you. It doesn’t feel good, but the good news is that garbage can serve a good purpose.

The apostle Paul had a compost pile. He wrote the strangest thing: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10). I don’t know many people who enjoy insults. But Paul found that when insults came his way, it made him go low. And grace is found in the lowlands. I lacked the maturity as a seminary student to know how to handle garbage. I just internalized it.  Years later I realized that I needed to extract the smelly stuff through forgiveness.

Garbage in the soul festers. Most people don’t possess compost piles, but those who do also have beautiful flowers and fruit growing out of their lives. Rather than being victimized by garbage, they know where to put it.  Those who own compost piles know that

  • God doesn’t waste anything
  • God uses even criticism to accomplish His purposes
  • Maturity means overcoming evil with good

Reacting to people who dump garbage on us means that the garbage makes its way into our souls rather than onto the compost pile. Responding to God enables us to put the garbage where it belongs. The difference between reacting and responding is about ten seconds, long enough to offer up a quick prayer and take deliberate action.

Here are two scriptures to help dispose of garbage:

“Now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Col. 3:8). “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Col. 3:13).

Forgiveness does not mean that people didn’t dump on us. It does not mean that we let them off the hook by saying that they didn’t hurt us. It does mean that we turn them over to the love and justice of God rather than trying to punish them by staying angry. Do you have a compost pile?  If so, you are a good gardener, and the fertilizer is developing fruit in your life. Garbage in the heart poisons us. Garbage properly used brings forth a rich garden.


John writes that “they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of the testimony, and they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12;11). We overcome the same way. Many good people are taken down. Sad to see. They were running a good race, and they got tripped up by the lure of sexual pleasure, the desire for riches, the glory of fame–and they left the race for the world. Or discouragement set in and slowly took them out of the competition.

Demas was doing well. He was a part of Paul’s apostolic band, referenced three times in Paul’s letters, with such notables as Luke. But Paul writes that “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:11). I’ve seen it with really good people.

Will you be overcome? Not if you learn to overcome the enemy by:


Walking in the light brings two things: “We have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7). Christians on a hunt for pleasure begin to walk in the dark, saying all the while that they are in the light, deceiving others–and themselves. They sell out a rich inheritance for a bowl of cold stew. Christians bent on fighting the fight of faith keep short accounts, confess their sins to God and to people, and keep their consciences clear. Satan has no answer to the blood.Those, however, who keep secrets about personal pleasure spend their time in the darkness, Satan’s realm, and they get chewed up, no matter how strong they think they are.


We are tested through our life just as the heroes of Scripture were. When they passed, as Joseph consistently did, the test became their testimony. They praise the faithfulness of God to keep His word and give them the destiny promised. Joseph became the second most powerful person in the world–one test at a time. He consistently passed, and the faithfulness of God was matched by the faithfulness of a young slave with a heart of integrity. Hear the word of his testimony: “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). No desire for revenge, no unforgiveness clogging the arteries, no sense of victimization for all the suffering he had gone through, just thanksgiving to God that he overcame. You can to. Turn tests that come your way into a testimony by trusting a loving Father to bring you through.


For Joseph and for every follower of God, the issues is not live or die, but obey or not obey. Threaten this kind of person with death and you get nowhere, because he is not clinging to His life; he is clinging to his Lord. Paul put it this way: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). How do you take someone down who cannot be scared by death itself. The choice to obey regardless sets you free from the threat of harm or the fear of retaliation. Christ-followers deny themselves and take up their cross–the place of death. What an overcoming life! I try to practice this in my marriage and my ministry. Join me.