Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Joseph Wasn't Bitter

Joseph's story from rags to riches amazes me.
He was his dad's favorite, and he knew it.
He bragged and boasted in his youth to the point that his brothers sold him as a slave and pretended to their father that Joseph was dead.
He worked for Potiphar until he became the most responsible servant in the big household.
He was falsely accused of rape by Potiphar's conniving snake of a wife.
He was put into prison.
He interpreted dreams for influential servants and then promptly forgotten as years went by.
What astonishes me is Joseph's attitude--at least what we are given a glimpse of in scripture. When Pharaoh had his dreams and Joseph was quickly shaven, bathed, clothed, and rushed in, Joseph wasn't consumed with bitterness and resentment. He could have been. He could have wasted away in prison angry at his dad for setting him apart and making his brothers hate him. Angry at his brothers for selling him as a slave. Angry at Potiphar and his twisted wife for falsely accusing and imprisoning him---especially since he had been so faithful in their household! Angry at the cup-bearer for promising and then forgetting his agreement.
This is how Joseph responded to Pharaoh immediately after interpreting the dream:
Genesis 41 MSG
33-36 “So, Pharaoh needs to look for a wise and experienced man and put him in charge of the country. Then Pharaoh needs to appoint managers throughout the country of Egypt to organize it during the years of plenty. . . ."
Joseph didn't miss a beat. He was ready to advise the king of the land with the eyes of an experienced manager instead of mumble-grumbling and being consumed with bitterness at his repeated misfortune.
I know me.  I'm too much of a complainer.  I focus on the negative, the injustices, the unfairness of it all. Wow. How wrong it is to do so. I am setting myself up for missed opportunities and removing potential blessings toward others and myself.
Ephesians 4 NIV
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Remember Whose I am.
Lord, help me remember I am your child. Help me remember that I have been sealed for the day of redemption. Help me to not grieve Your Spirit by holding on to bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander, and malice. Help me to be kind and compassionate and yes, forgiving of others. Help me remember that You sent your son Jesus to die for them, too. You love them.
Scriptures from BibleGateway.com
Image from http://www.momstoolbox.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/img_2254.jpeg

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