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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 23, 2018

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!

The dreams of your future have no room for the devastations of your past.

When Aaron, the brother of Moses, died, the entire house of Israel mourned for him thirty days (Numbers 20:29). However, after those thirty days, the time of mourning was over, and the Israelites had to move on with life.

There is a great lesson in this: you must push beyond the past in order to enter the future -- a future filled with great things God has planned for you. The Apostle Paul knew this, which is why he wrote, One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

You may have great dreams for your future, but if you fill your future with junk from your past, then you'll never fulfill your dreams. Therefore, like the Israelites, after a certain period of time, you must decide to forget what is behind and press on toward the things that are ahead.

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