Choosing Restoration

Today’s guest blogger is my great friend, Judy Cintron. She and her husband, Sam, have treated us like family since we first met.  Judy has the heart of a disciple and she is an intentional discipler of others. – Brandon

doorknocker-917222_1280Is there a relational situation where you have given up? Until recently my answer would have been yes until I re-read the stories of Joseph and David.

Let me give you the cliff notes version. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of the relationship he had with their father. The brothers threw Joseph in a pit and then sold him into slavery. He was falsely accused by his master’s wife, and put in prison. But, even in the most desperate situations, God was with him and whatever Joseph did, the Lord made it succeed. As a slave Joseph was put in charge of Potiphar’s household, ran a wing of the prison, and ultimately became the most important and influential man next to Pharaoh. After years of being apart, his brothers found themselves in front of Joseph pleading for their life and food for their families. Joseph chose forgiveness and restoration instead of retribution for what his brothers had done to him.

The story is inspiring when you know the beginning, middle and end. But Joseph did not know how the story would play out. Joseph chose to live in obedience to the Lord and believe in His promise. Joseph had a choice: He could be bitter about the terrible things his brothers did to him and live in defeat and feel like he was abandoned by his family and God, or he could push past the hurt and resentment and give the gift of forgiveness and restoration.

What if you are the one who wronged someone? King David slept with a married woman and made sure her husband would never find out. In Psalm 51:12 David says to God “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me by your generous Spirit.” In verse 17 he proclaims “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart; O God you will not despise.” Beyond being forgiven and cleansed, David wanted restoration with God.

Maybe you have a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or boss who treated you unfairly. Maybe the narrative people are saying about you is untrue. Maybe you were the one who offended someone with harsh words or actions. Whatever the situation, the relationship ended with misunderstanding and hurtful words. Time has not healed the brokenness and hurt. Have you run away from that problem and closed the door on that relationship?

What future do you want? One that is full of anger, retribution, and retaliation, or one that moves forward, and forgives.

There is no perfect one-size-fits-all formula or promise that this life on earth won’t be messy. You can’t always control what happens in your life, but you can control how you respond. Let’s commit our lives to loving others and to finding opportunities for restoration, healing, and peace.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Galatians 6:8-9

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