When Joseph's brothers came before him in Egypt asking for food, he faced a stiff test. Years before, they had threatened to kill him. Then they sold him into slavery. But Joseph forgave them. Even after their father Jacob died and they feared Joseph might take revenge, he assured them of his complete forgiveness.
Chuck Swindoll reports that a seminary student in Chicago faced a similar forgiveness test. Although he preferred to work in some kind of ministry, the only job he could find was driving a bus on Chicago's south side. One day a gang of tough teens got on board and refused to pay the fare. After a few days of this, the seminarian spotted a policeman on the corner, stopped the bus and reported them. The officer made them pay, but then he got off. When the bus rounded a corner, the gang robbed the seminarian and beat him severely. He pressed charges and the gang was rounded up. They were found guilty. But as soon as the jail sentences were given the young Christian saw their spiritual need and felt pity for them. So he asked the judge if he could serve their sentences for them. The gang members and the judge were dumbfounded. "It's because I forgive you," he explained. His request was denied but he visited the young men in jail and led several of them to faith in Christ.
Has someone wronged you? Are you harboring a grudge because of some real or imagined hurt? If so, it may be time for the forgiveness test.