Peace with others
“But Esau ran to meet him, hugged him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him. Then they wept.”
If there was ever a man that had a reason to be angry at his brother, it was Esau. Even from birth, it felt like his twin brother Jacob was out to get him as he came out “grasping Esau’s heel with his hand.” Jacob manipulated his brother out of his birthright and their father’s blessing. Their mother wisely sent Jacob away to live with an uncle, and Jacob built a new life.
Enter the voice of God. God told Jacob he must return to his home, but that meant passing through the land of Seir where his brother Esau had settled. Knowing Esau was not going to greet him in a nice manner, Jacob wrestled all night with the Lord demanding a blessing before this reunion. Then, in chapter 33, the suspense comes to a climax when the two brothers reunite, but instead of killing Jacob, Esau embraced him with forgiveness. Jacob tried to give his brother his livestock to atone for his sins, but Esau refused.
That’s the thing– once you have chosen to forgive, you cancel the debt of the one that has hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean what they did was ok, it just means the bitterness you felt from it no longer holds a place in your heart. Esau could have spent his days seeking revenge on his brother, but instead he had built his own life. He was content.
Have you allowed the sting of past offenses to rob you of your peace toward others? Is your forgiveness dependent on what someone offers you? Let’s look at what it looks like to truly forgive today.
1.) Ask God to reveal any unforgiveness you have stored up. Don’t discount even the smallest offense! (Think “You cut me off on the way to work” small.)
2.) Pray to release that person or people from the debt you have against them, just like Esau did toward Jacob.
3.) “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32. Thank God for the forgiveness of Jesus that not only promises you eternal life, but also gives you the strength to forgive others and live in peace!