Image by peasap via Flickr
Second, let go of what others have done to you! Thorns come with roses, and hurts come with human relationships. And few hurts go as deeply as those inflicted by friends and family. Ask Joseph, who was sold out by his brothers and locked up in a foreign prison for a crime he never committed. It's the stuff bitterness, depression, despair and defeat are made of. And who'd have blamed him? But Joseph knew that he, not his abusers, had the last word; that he, not they, would decide his future. Others can wound you, but no one can destroy you without your permission and cooperation. It's not what they do to you that determine your outcomes, it's what you do next.
Joseph decided to let the offenses go and accept responsibility for his own reactions. When you do that you take back your power, open yourself to new options, and make choices that position you to come out of it stronger, wiser and more blessed. Notice: a) Joseph saw it from God's perspective. 'You did not send me here...God did...to keep you alive by a great deliverance' (Genesis 45:8) b) he released his resentment. He moved beyond it and ministered to the needs of those who had hurt him c) he refused to become a victim of other people's actions. As a result God made him 'ruler over all...Egypt' (v8) d) he prepared for the future. How? By excelling in his prophetic and administrative gifts, even though imprisoned (Genesis 41:39). So, choose to see it God's way. Let it go. Do what you've been called to do, and watch God vindicate you royally!