I’m sure we have all heard of the name “Joseph”, from Genesis 37. the life of this man still provides lessons relevant to us even to this day. Although there is a lot that can be spoken about his life , here are two practical insights that I believe are extremely practical for us to look at, learn from and implement in our lives
1. Are you a VICTIM or a VICTOR?
The other day I was talking to a friend of mine and one of the things he said really hit me “ Only the worst happens to me and hence I expect only the worst in all situations”. This is not the attitude of a victor, it is a victim’s attitude. The statement made me realise that often we develop a very negative view on life, even if we are in the best of the best situations we feel like the worst is just around the corner, the best moments seem too good to be true. I have often heard people say “ Why is this happening to me ? What wrong have I done ? I DO NOT DESERVE THIS”. I remember even myself saying in the past, time and time again “I DO NOT DESERVE THIS, I DO NOT DESERVE THIS”. Doesn’t this sound very familiar to you ? Haven’t you at times said this too?
Joseph had a life filled with tragedies. His own brothers conspired against him, they stripped him and threw him into a cistern, they left him to die and then sold him into slavery to the Midianite merchants on their way to Egypt. Did Joseph deserve to be betrayed by his brothers ? NO. When Joseph was taken down to Egypt, Potiphar who was one of the Pharaoh’s officials bought him to be his slave. Did Joseph deserve to be sold into slavery and be bought to serve as a slave ? NO. While Joseph was serving under Potiphar as a slave, Potiphar’s wife developed sexual interests towards Joseph and tried to coax him to sleep with her day after day, yet Joseph did not touch her, Genesis 39:12 records that Joseph “ran out of the house” when Potiphar’s wife tried to force him to bed with her. Yet we all know how Jospeh was thrown into the prison under the false charges of sexually harassing Potiphar’s wife. Did Joseph deserve imprisonment even though not once did he even touch Potiphar’s wife? Again a unanimous NO.
We see time and time again that Joseph faced severe challenges and betrayals in his life, persecutions that he did not deserve. Yet not once do we see Joseph carrying a VICTIM’s mentality. Not once do we see him complain “I do not deserve this, why is this happening to me?”.
You and I go through several challenges in our day to day lives, at times it seems that life is unfair. We at times feel bombarded with criticisms and persecutions that we don’t seem to deserve. Yet how many of us carry the VICTOR’s mentality that Joseph carried? He faced challenges far greater than you and I probably have ever faced, yet not once did he think negatively or victimise himself.
Are you and I carrying a VICTIM’s attitude or the attitude of a VICTOR ?
2. A rough start DOES NOT mean a rough finish
Look at the life of Joseph once again, he was betrayed by his own brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of sexual harassment and even imprisoned. However the same man who went through such undeserved challenges and persecution finished the race as the person incharge of the whole land of Egypt, a position so high and powerful that he was second only to the Pharaoh in power and respect. The man who entered the land of Egypt as a slave rose to be the most powerful man in whole of Egypt after the Pharaoh himself. Was it so called luck that turned a slave into such a powerful man ? Was Joseph supernatural or extremely gifted and talented ? Was Joseph a master manipulator who knew his way around influential people ? NOT AT ALL, he was an ORDINARY MAN just like you and I.
How then did such an ordinary man who started the race with such a rough start finish the race with such excellence ? The answer is SIMPLE. Joseph knew who he served. He knew the God he served is the one true God, the all powerful and mighty God. When he was in the cistern thrown by his brothers, his eyes were on GOD. When he was sold as a slave, his eyes were still on GOD. When he was falsely accused and thrown into the prison, his eyes were again only and only on GOD.
Joseph’s FOCUS was NOT ON his CIRCUMSTANCES, his focus was ONLY ON GOD. Joseph knew GOD IS SOVEREIGN.
Can you and I have the same trust and confidence that Joseph had on God ? Can you and I have a victor’s attitude ? Can you and I believe that even though the start may have been rough we will finish the race with flying colours ? YES!!!! We can. If an ORDINARY man like Joseph could, so can we.
LET US LIVE LIFE KNOWING OUR GOD IS SOVEREIGN.
LET US LIVE LIFE WITH A VICTOR’s MENTALITY.
LET US LIVE LIFE KNOWING THAT A ROUGH START DOES NOT MEAN A ROUGH FINISH.