An interesting article appeared Saturday, August 18th, on Yahoo Sports entitled, "Ex-NFL running back Fred Taylor forgives former agent who defrauded him of millions". Fred Taylor, former NFL and Florida Gator great, tells of being duped out of 3.6 million dollars by his former agent, Tank Black, during the late 1990's. However, what was most interesting about this article is a comment Taylor made concerning this event in his life. This comment came from a phone conversation which had recently transpired between he and Black. Taylor called to forgive Black of his actions but also to thank him for them. Taylor told Black; "thank you for helping make me the man I am."
Many would never see someones sin against them as a means of their sanctification. However, Scripture constantly reinforces this teaching. Joseph told his brothers in Genesis 50:20; "what you meant for evil, God meant for good". Joseph's brothers acted sinful toward their brother, while God, sovereign over sin, was simultaneously using their sinfulness for Joseph's sanctification and their eventual salvation. Sin never thwarts God's plan, because he uses sin as means to accomplish his plan; lest we forget Christ's crucifixion.
Jesus told his followers to; "love their enemies, do good to those who mistreat you, and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28). Paul said; "bless those who persecute you, and do not curse" (Romans 12:14) and he also commanded us to; "feed and give cold drink to our enemy" (Romans 12:20). Stephen, in Acts 7:60, asked the Lord not to hold the actions of his murders against them. Why are we asked to respond in this manner? God is working all things, even the sin of others against us, for our good, because they are his means of making us more like Him and they may just be the means by which He wroughts their salvation.
In the spirit of Jonathan Edwards; let us resolve this today to see sinful actions against us as a means of Christ's greater work of sanctification and thereby do good to those who do evil against us.