Let’s be honest. When someone makes us mad, our reaction is closer to Cain’s than Joseph’s. We may not kill our brother with a stone, but we do throw shade at them behind their back or online. We feel justified in our actions when we are angry, and it seems right to get even with people who have harmed us.
This is not the way of Jesus. In his sermon on the mount, Jesus upheld the command to not murder and also said that to even hold onto anger in our hearts would get in the way of our worship of God. This is such an important issue that Jesus even commands us to stop all that we are doing, even worshipping God, to go and make an attempt to ask forgiveness or offer grace to someone with whom we are fighting. Scripture gives the examples of Cain and Joseph in how they each related to their brothers when they had the opportunity to be angry. Cain held onto his anger, and it destroyed his relationship with Abel and with God. Joseph, on the other hand, had every reason to be angry with his brothers for selling him into slavery. He had the opportunity and power to punish them for their actions. Yet he offered them forgiveness, and by doing so, he saved his family from starvation.
As challenging as it can be, we must take Christ’s command seriously to “go and be reconciled” to those who have wronged us or those we have wronged. To ignore this command will damage not only our relationship with that person but also with God.