the text below is from a friend, Karl, after a prayer time on the biblical figure of Joseph. the Fred Rogers quote that appears first is my thought on how Step 4 should begin, with a view to self …
“Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life’s important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.” Fred Rogers
and ourselves is the hardest one to forgive…
Genesis 45:5: ‘And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.’
You and I have seen this verse many times before…and often get Disney-fide to mean, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good”. Yes, but I heard it a couple days ago in a new light. “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves” is REGRET. And we carry so much regret. I do. I mull it over whenever I get the chance. But God’s message is this: Don’t regret. I sent Joseph. I did it. And while you played a part, I REDEEMED IT.”
“…Let it go. I redeemed it. AND I paid for it.” Furthermore, the fact that regret wedges itself between God and me. It keeps me from him. It insults His redemptive and cleansing power. Who am I to tell God that “I have something to do”?
And when I read Gen 45:5, I thought of you and prayed for you. And I am sorry about your regrets, just as I am sorry about my own. And I weep with you, who are weeping.- Karl