A part of the story of Joseph and his brothers fascinated me a lot after I read it.
In Genesis 50, after Jacob died in Egypt, his brothers began to think that he would deal with them since their father was like the peacemaker, or in their minds, all that stands between Joseph’s vengeance and them is no longer alive. So they sent a message to Joseph to say how the father left a dying wish for them to be forgiven, which saddened Joseph because he already forgave them a long time ago.
It made me keep thinking that it’s either these people never took time to know their brother because if they did, they would know he wasn’t a vengeful person as they thought.
Or they were seeing Joseph through the lens and nature of their own heart. This struck a chord in me, a realization or ministration.
It all boils down to the hearts in interpretation. Their thinking like that about their brother had a lot to show us of what they would have possibly done were the situation to be reversed. They projected their own possibility onto Joseph, which made them take the action they did. What we project on people sometimes has more to do with who we are deep within us than what we believe them to be. How we see others sometimes is a strong reflection of ourselves.
Sometimes our view of others stems from the messiness of our hearts. We project suspicion on some people and interpret them differently simply because we would have done that same thing if we were in their position. And most of the time, we find out that our projection and interpretation of them are totally different from reality.
Our views and interpretations of people will improve when we focus less on judgment and more on cleansing and purifying our hearts. When we do this, we will become milder and tender in our dealings with people and become less judgmental, which ruins good relationships and the salvation process. We will learn to correct in love and not bash people. We will give people the benefit of the doubt and more room to change.
As Christians in the large body of Christ, we must therefore submit our hearts to Christ to work in us. He has given us a commandment of Love and Peace, none of which we can achieve if we have an untamed heart. He has commanded us to follow peace and love with all men, to esteem others as better than ourselves; in other words, to think good thoughts towards everyone, never repay evil for evil, and to suffer ourselves to be defrauded.
Christ commands less judgement and more accommodation, and we cannot obey Him if our hearts constantly project faults onto others. We give people no room for change when we package them and put them in a box in our minds, and this has led to the loss of many lives that would have otherwise been turned back to Christ.
We are called to love everyone. Their fault is not yours but God’s to fix, and certainly, it can’t be fixed by condemning them. God knows how to fix them, and it’s His job. Our job is to love them through the whole process.
Following this will make our lives and environment more lovely and habitable.