As Joseph sat in his time of waiting, he had a choice about which thoughts and feelings he would dwell on and nurture. Like us, his default would be to rehearse wrongs, let bitterness grow, and allow his wounds to fester. What we naturally want to do in a relational situation is often the wrong thing.
Joseph seems to have learned to see people through God’s glasses. People are a hodgepodge of love, selfishness, kindness, fear, and the list could go on. No one is perfect. Most people aren’t truly evil. They are just people who make some good decisions and some pretty bad ones. The battle for truth in relationships is often fought in our own heads and hearts. We need God’s Holy Spirit desperately so that He can help us to see people clearly, soften our hearts, and revise our feelings to fall in line with His.
God longs to free us from the wasted hours of fanaticizing about our villain’s demise. Joseph probably did a little bit of that. He was human. But he would have had to get off the mental hamster wheel of negative thoughts toward his brothers and his boss in order to bring his thoughts and feelings into line with God’s grace. We can’t create eyes of grace on our own. They come only as we surrender our thought life to God, moment by moment.
Perhaps for years some of us will regularly think of the person who wronged us. What will we do with these thoughts? 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV). Captives don’t get to do what they want to do or go where they want to go. Paul tells us to put our unforgiving thoughts into a prison cell. We are the wardens of our minds. God tells us that, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can take thoughts captive and make them obey Christ.
How are you doing as the warden of your own mind lately?
What thoughts is God calling you to take captive today?