Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Life can make us better or make us bitter.
It is a truth many people have come to realize and have passed down to others as I am passing on to you.
Life is not a bed of roses. For most of us it has been hard; and the smiles that many of us carry are not the result of a life of ease but of having been in the trenches.
The fight is never over. As long as we are alive there are going to be struggles but we have learned to take a punch, even fall down, but better than that we have learned how to get up and go on again.
If you have ever felt discriminated against, unfairly treated, even abused by family, friends and even strangers, take heart. Life has not singled you out for unfair and cruel treatment. Others have walked that road and not only survived but were victorious.
One of my favorite bible characters is Joseph. If there was ever someone who went through some hard times and was treated badly, unfairly and wickedly it was Joseph. If you are bitter right now, or you know someone who is bitter against someone, especially a family member, invite them to read this article and let them stack up their life against Joseph’s.
Often times we are bitter because we think our situation is worse than anyone else’s. We believe no one has ever been where we have been or through the things we have been through. But that feeling might be because you don’t know what so many others have been through. You see their battle scars but you don’t know the battles they have fought.
As many of us preachers like to say, “You see my glory, but you don’t know my story.”
Joseph started having a hard time from he entered his teenage years. His brothers didn’t like him because his dad liked him too much. In other words he was daddy’s favorite son.
Then Joseph had a few dreams that suggested he was going to be boss over the rest of the family. That was enough to let his brothers see red and decide that they wanted to get rid of him.
When I say get rid of him I mean kill him. Do you have a brother or sister planning your murder? If you haven’t been through that you don’t know what hard times are.
The brothers finally settled on selling him as a slave to some slave traders who took him to a foreign country. They then fabricated some evidences and told their father that Joseph had an accident and he was dead. They even brought back a part of his clothing properly “doctored up” as evidence that he was dead.
Imagine being a free man and sold as a slave by your own family members and taken to some country overseas. For most of us we would be spewing venom, wanting revenge. We would be so focused on revenge we would hardly be able to focus on anything else.
It would color our attitude and negatively affect everything we do. By this time Joseph is only 17 years old. He is suffering from some psychological trauma, some anger issues and diagnosed with some kind of emotional or mental disorder; and some people would even declare he would be maimed for life with severe trust issues and long term anger problems.
Unfortunately for Joseph that is not the end of his problems. There is more to come.
Join me next week for the conclusion of “Better or Bitter: It’s your choice,” the true story of the life of Joseph.