Joel Osteen Daily Devotionals Start Fresh and New Post by Joel Osteen


Start Fresh and New
Post by Joel Osteen

I talked to a well-known man who had been estranged from his seven brothers and sisters for twenty years. They had not spoken or had any contact with him. They would see him having great success and influence, but there were things these siblings didn't see eye to eye on, and for years their relationship with him was nonexistent. One day their eighty-year-old mother was hit by a car and rushed to the hospital. All the siblings, including this man, flew in from different parts of the country and hurried to the hospital where she was in a coma. After all of them had seen their mother, they gathered in a room where this man said to his siblings, "It's time to let all the hurts and the harsh words of the past go. Let's bury the misunderstandings and start fresh and new." They all began to weep and hug one another except for one of the brothers. He looked at this man and said, "I can't forgive you." Then he walked away.

His brother went home and the next morning turned on the television to watch our program. It just so happened that the entire message was about not holding a grudge, about forgiving others, and about letting past hurts go. He knew that God was talking to him, so he went to his brother and said, "I've changed my mind. I'm letting it go." They hugged each other, and today all the relationships in the family are restored. What's interesting is that their mother never woke up from being in the coma. Two months later, she passed away. The man told me, "I think God kept my mother alive so all of our relationships could be restored."

The Scriptures record two deceptions by Jacob that resulted in such great losses for his brother, Esau, that he vowed to kill Jacob. For many years the brothers lived estranged. Finally the day came when Jacob returned to his home, only to hear that Esau was coming to meet him with four hundred men. Vengeance seemed certain. But when Esau saw Jacob, he ran to him and hugged him, weeping and welcoming Jacob back. Jacob was so moved by Esau's kindness that he said, "Seeing your face was as the face of God smiling on me" (Genesis 33:10).

Life is not about getting revenge and hurting people who hurt you. It's easy to try to pay someone back, ignore them, make them suffer. All that's doing is holding you down. Why don't you be the smile of God and show them the kindness they don't deserve? When you're the smile of God, He'll make sure people will smile back on you.

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