“This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.”
– Genesis 50:17
The above is one of the demonstrative Bible verses about forgiveness.
The brothers of Joseph sold him into slavery. But here, Joseph is asked to forgive the trespasses of his brothers, for they, too, are servants of God. The brothers did sincerely repent.
Joseph, convinced of their love, forgave them, and in doing so, he comforted them. He rendered good rather than evil. He showed his forgiveness through kindness.
Joseph directed them not to fear him or his anger – but only God, and to humble themselves before the Lord.
Joseph told them they must also seek divine forgiveness.
“Please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned.”
– Nehemiah 1:6
In a real-life example of seeking to make amends for trespasses and seek forgiveness, one of Germany’s richest families is donating millions of dollars to support Holocaust survivors.
The family owns Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Pret A Manger and other international brands.
The family has acknowledged that companies it owned used forced laborers during the Nazi era, as well as enthusiastically supported Adolf Hitler.
But now, the family is seeking to make restitution.
They are donating $5.5 million to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany to help thousands of elderly survivors around the world.
The family is donating another $5.5 million to seek out and support forced laborers that were used by one of their company’s predecessors under the Nazis.
Most generously of all, the family is donating $27.5 million annually to Holocaust education and promoting democratic values in order to stave off the rise of populist nationalism.