Using Genesis 50
For Forgiving Others
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
To get the full comfort of these words for your client you will need to explore the story of Joseph’s life from the Book of Genesis with them. You could tell them the story.
If they are Biblically literate you can ask them to recall the relationships that Joseph had with his father and his brothers.
If it is more appropriate, you might want to do a homework assignment and asked your client to read Genesis 37-50 at home, concentrating on relationships:
- Joseph to his father.
- Joseph to his brothers.
- Joseph to various people in Egypt (Potiphar, the warden of the prison, Pharaoh)
- God to Joseph in connection with each of the above relationships.
Ask client to write down in their journal how they understand each relationship and how each relationship may apply to them in their lives.
Romans 8:28 might be a good passage to which to refer your client here.
- How badly was Joseph sinned against?
- Yet, he could forgive his brothers?
- What was he thinking?
- How is God in control of your life as He was in control of Joseph’s life for the good of his family?
- “God intended it for good.” What does that mean for you?
- God had St. Paul write down the same thoughts that Joseph had in Romans 8:28: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.”
- How can you apply these thoughts about forgiveness to your situation?
*From the writings of Rev. Alan Siggelkow. Please cite if including this resource elsewhere.
The above exercise has greater benefit when working with a Christian therapist, your pastor, or a fellow Christian. Interaction and accountability with another person who can provide understanding and encouragement is reinforced in therapy sessions.