English Standard Version (ESV)
Looking back, it's easy to see how the brothers could have framed their decision to sell Joseph into slavery. They could have said they were an unaware participant in God's greater plan, that their actions were simply laying the groundwork for God's greater actions later. In summary, they could minimize their own sinfulness.
I don't like to focus on my own sin. I don't like to talk about it, and I'd just as soon pretend it's not part of the equation. But I do sin. I have sinned. And I take ownership of that -- it's a part of me, whether I'm proud of it or not. I think that God has taken some of those sins and used them for good later on, but it would have been better for me to not sin, right? Just like it would have been better for Joseph's brothers to not sell him into slavery. I think God would have still worked out a way for the end result to be the same.
It's complicated to be a Christian, to know that we sin and yet that we are redeemed, forgiven and free. Don't dwell on your sin, focusing so much on it that you lose sight of God. But also don't forget that it's there -- it reminds us of who we once were, and it reminds us how great our God is and how great a debt we owe him. Our sin should make us grateful, so that we may rejoice in the love of God our Savior.