Godly Leadership: Traits From Joseph 3
From previous weeks, I treated Godly Leadership, Godly Leadership: Traits from Joseph, and Godly Leadership: Traits from Joseph 2. Today, I will continue with the traits from Joseph.
5. Patience: Learning To Wait
But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon (Genesis 40:14).
This scripture reveals one thing that never shows up in the earlier narrations of Joseph’s story: Impatience and hurt. With all fairness to Joseph, he was human and sometimes things get unbearable and we blurt out. Truly, the guy hasn’t done anything to deserve been in Prison. But, well, that doesn’t change the fact that he was under God’s training for his assigned destiny. Obviously, Joseph must be getting tired now with all the things he was going through. But the lessons were not over yet. He needed to overcome impatience and his hurt. So God continued his training until the right time.
Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him
6. Maturity: A Non-Negotiable
· 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
· 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
One of the many definitions of maturity is “The state or quality of being fully grown or developed”. By maturity, age is not necessarily what is being implied. It is actually a belief that maturity should come with age, but the reality is that; it is not always the case. Fully grown or developed: I will simply define maturity as the ability to act in the right way at the right time. This brings different concepts to mind: Decisive, Courageous, Determined, Faithful, Sensitive, Focused etc. Joseph had a lot of good character traits to teach us, but we also seem to overlook some of his bad sides that also have lots of lessons to teach us. Let’s consider Genesis 37 above and see some areas of maturity Joseph needed to have before eventually becoming a Prime Minister.
See the last part of vs 2; “Joseph brought unto his father their evil report”. My question is: “so there was really no good report about Joseph’s brothers that he could tell his father? Joseph’s motives and his intentions for “reporting evily” on his brothers can be inferred from the next verse 3. “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children…” It is highly possible, that Joseph was a “spoilt” boy with a “favour conscious” syndrome. He was his dad’s favorite, so he has to constantly feed that favouritism by spying on his brothers.
If leadership occurs at every level in life, then this piece of scripture will also be a good note for parenting: Never discriminate amongst your Children. They are all unique with different assignments in life. It will be natural to love some above others, at least, humanly speaking; they will all not show good behaviour. But to be a good parent and leader, understand that every child has a unique assignment. Jacob should have known this? His twelve Children were going to form the twelve tribes of Israel; every one of them was special. A good leader has to be objective and offer what is called equal opportunities to all. Fair and equal treatment ― not subjective and unfair treatment.
- Leaving the Comfort Zone
And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him (Genesis 37:23)
I love the way every single word, phrase and sentence in the Bible carries significance: “…they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him”. The coat of many colours was Joseph’s significance. It was his sense of identity and connection to the love of his father. It was his comfort zone. Look at Genesis 37:3 again; “Now Israel loved Joseph more than his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours”.
Here is a clear picture of a comfort zone; Daddy’s boy, spoilt and pampered. Joseph needed growth; God had to prune him by separating him from his comfort zone. Our growth and development process will always bring us into a place of moving away from our comfort zone. We might not always intentionally make that choice, God sometimes bring the “comfort zone takeaway” situations our way. Moses had to leave Egypt, Samuel was separated from his parents, Esther lived in bondage, Mary was faced with the shame of bearing a Child without “father” plus Jesus Himself had to leave the comfort of heaven. Our number one enemy towards maturity is the comfort zone and we have to be separated first before we can make any impact.
· Emotional Intelligence (Emotional sensitivity)
When Joseph was telling on his brothers, I am sure he was the only one enjoying the effects. If you consider further Joseph’s story, he had to go through the same process of a lie being told about him. Later on in his life, we see a man who has developed so much sensitivity and care for others. He wasn’t vindictive, he was not bitter— He had a lot of emotional sensitivity which manifested in his relationships. See Genesis 40:6-7 “And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold, they were sad. And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day? From this scripture, I will say that as a leader, you should be observant and know when people are hurting. Probe further when you sense things are not going well and offer the necessary support people might need. As a leader, you are a problem solver not problem creator. Learn to share in the burdens of people.
7: Forgiveness: Bear No Grudge
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Joseph throughout his encounter with his brothers after so many years, never held anything against them. He clearly understood that whatever his brothers did to him was allowed by God. Every leader must forgive. Forgiveness is a must at all times regardless. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15).
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