“And their father Israel said unto them, If it must be so now, do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry down the man a present, a little balm, and a little honey, spices, and myrrh, nuts, and almonds:”
There will come a time in everyone’s life when they will have to try to mend fences with someone whom they have wronged. You will not get through life without doing wrong to someone and having to swallow your pride so that you can try to right your wrong. As hard as you may try to do right to everyone, you will never succeed at not offending others. It is in these times when you must try to mend your fences.
Jacob’s sons found themselves in a precarious situation where they had to try and mend a fence. They didn’t know that it was Joseph who had commanded that their money be put back in their bags, but Jacob was wise enough to teach his sons what they needed to do to mend their fence with this “ruler” in Egypt. Five things were advised and done to try and mend the fence with Joseph. If you are going to mend your fences with others whom you have wronged, you are going to have to follow these same five steps. Let me share these steps with you.
First, be good to those you have wronged. Jacob told his sons to bring a present to Joseph. He understood that “A gift in secret pacifieth anger:…” (Proverbs 21:14) You may be surprised how far you can go with a person whom you have wronged by trying to do good to them. A little gift, or helping them when they are going through struggles just may be the action needed to mend your fence with them.
Second, attempt to right any wrong. Jacob told his sons to bring “double money” back with them. You will never mend fences with those you have wronged if you are not willing to say, “I’m sorry.” Stop waiting for others to apologize to you for what they have done and be the believer you are supposed to be and try to right your wrong. Whatever you have done that could have caused the wrong should be corrected with all of your effort.
Third, pray for God’s mercy on your situation. Jacob said as he sent his sons to Egypt, “And God Almighty give you mercy before the man…” You are going to need God’s help to right your wrongs with others. You must ask God for His mercy in your situation. God can work on the heart of the person you have wronged before you try to right your wrong. God knows your heart and your desire to do right, and I believe that He will be merciful to help you to get your situation right if you will ask for His help.
Fourth, respect the person for who they are. The worst thing you could do when you are trying to mend a fence is to disrespect the person you have wronged. When these men came into Joseph’s presence, they bowed themselves to the earth and gave him the respect he deserved. You will never mend fences with people by disrespecting them. Don’t add kindling to the fire of your situation by disrespecting the individual you have wronged.
Fifth, accept the results of your attempt to mend the fence. There are going to be times when it doesn’t matter what you do; you will never be able to mend the fence because they won’t let you. Let me encourage you to accept the situation as it is, but keep praying for God to give you an opportunity at some point to mend your fence with them.