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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of May 17, 2010

You can't collect a debt from someone who can't pay. Therefore, forgive!

The word "forgive", as defined in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, means "to absolve from payment"; that is, to cancel a debt.

Unfortunately, many people try to force others who have hurt them to "pay" for their actions. Rather than forgiving -- "absolving from payment" -- such people try to force others to pay them back.

Other people may have committed evil against you; however, the Bible says that we overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

An excellent example of this principle of overcoming evil with good can be seen in the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50). He had many opportunities to be bitter toward others, yet he refused to do so. Indeed, he kept a good attitude even during greatly unfair circumstances.

When Joseph was seventeen years old, his brothers sold him into slavery (see Genesis 37). The slave traders took him to Egypt, where, Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt, had a dream, which Joseph interpreted to mean that Egypt would have seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh was so impressed by Joseph that he placed the young man in charge of the entire food supply of Egypt. Joseph stored food during the first seven years so that the country would survive during the subsequent seven.

After just a year or two of famine, Egypt was the only place around that had food left. And, sure enough, Joseph's brothers came to get food. Joseph could have demanded that his brothers repay him for abusing him, mistreating him, and selling him into slavery. But instead, Joseph forgave them -- he canceled their debt.

In your life, you will certainly be presented with situations in which you must choose either to try to force others to repay you for what they did to you or in which you can simply forgive them. Like Joseph, forgive!

Don't doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.

No matter how hard you try, in a room that's completely dark, you'll never be able to see anything. Even if you know for sure that something is in the room, it's impossible to see it if the room is totally dark. You know it's there, but you just can't see it.

That's what faith is like. You may be absolutely confident that God loves you; however, during the difficult and dark times in life, you may not be able to see that love.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Even when you don't see God's love for you, you can still have faith that he loves you -- that is, you can be certain that he loves you, even though you don't see it.

During those "dark times" in your spiritual life, you may not be able to see God's love, his faithfulness, his grace, or his promises to you; however, don't lose your faith. Be certain of what [you] do not see.

One day, your faith will be sight.