Joseph started off plotting revenge on his brothers. When they discovered who he was, they expected nothing less. But his experiences had taught Him that God used even his mistreatment at the hands of his brothers to bring good for his family. Jesus talks about how God is more interested in the direction of our thoughts and motives than in the strictness of our obedience to ritual rules and behaviors. He then goes on to honor the Canaanite woman’s faith rather than her nationality. In all of these instances, God is seeking our obedience in loving our neighbors as ourselves.
God of Grace, we sometimes try to hide who we truly are behind a wall of good deeds. We know that you want us to treat others with kindness, but we still hold on to our prejudices deep within. We worry about rituals and good manners, instead of letting You change our hearts to love. We harbor resentments that come out at the most inopportune times. Forgive us, and help us to turn our inmost being to You for cleansing.