Be the Smile of God

by Joel Osteen

Friday, March 23, 2018
comments: 10

We all have people who have done us wrong. It's easy to hold on to the hurt, to be vindictive and try to pay them back. One test we have to pass is not just to forgive people, but to be good to those who have not been good to us. When they betrayed you, when they left you out, when they said things that weren't true, that put you at a disadvantage. It wasn't fair, but God is a God of justice and will turn the tables at some point. You'll be up, and they'll be down. When you're in a position of power, the real test of how high you can go is what you do to people who hurt you. Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to them…Then your reward will be great" (Luke 6:35). That's a test. That's God seeing if you're ready to be promoted. When God can trust you to handle favor, influence and power without using it to be vindictive, He can take you to new levels.

This is what Esau did. His brother, Jacob, first tricked him out of his birthright (Genesis 25) and later deceived their father into giving Jacob the double blessing that belonged to him, the firstborn son (Genesis 27). Both were great losses for Esau. When he found out, he was so angry that Jacob had to run for his life. Many years went by, and these two brothers lived estranged from each other. Over time, God dealt with Jacob. He knew he had done wrong, wanted to reconcile with Esau, and decided to return to his home.

Jacob sent messengers to Esau with gifts, telling Esau that he wanted to see him. Esau sent word back that he was coming to meet Jacob with four hundred men. Jacob's only thought was that Esau was finally about to get his revenge and kill him. But when Esau saw Jacob, he ran to him and hugged him, weeping and welcoming Jacob and his family back. Jacob was so moved by Esau's kindness that he said, "When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me!" (Genesis 33:10). When you're good to people who don't deserve it, you're being the smile of God. You're passing the test. You're showing God that He can trust you.

Life is not about getting revenge and hurting people who hurt you. Maybe God has you reading this so you can be good to someone who doesn't deserve it. 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? The mercy you show others is the mercy that people are going to show you. When you're the smile of God, He'll make sure people will smile back on you.