“You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
This week we begin looking into the story of a man named Joseph who really steps onto the stage as a main character in Genesis 37 and closes out the book in chapter 50, receiving more attention in terms of book chapters than any other character in Genesis. Joseph is an exemplary figure for a number of reasons, but today I notice something in the very first scene in which he stars. Joseph, it would seem, has some issues of immaturity. He is not a man lacking in integrity. Spiritually, he seems pure and above reproach. By Genesis 39, after being sold as a slave into the hands of Egypt he would rather escape without his cloak than be caught with the wife of a high ranking palace official. So why would the brothers of this holy man want to kill him? Because he was a tattletale and a dreamer.
There is a common viewpoint that “the gospel is offensive.” We have a story, a revelation of who God is and how He has interacted in human history. We desire to reflect His image and do His work. This is going to create problems for the faithful, even causing us to be disliked, even persecuted. Thus, we don’t need to worry about how we are received. What matters is the truth, and “the truth will set us free” (John 8:32). However, I remember the words of the Apostle Paul, one of the greatest evangelists of all time: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22)
The truth is,
What we do with the truth is important, because the goal is to earn favor and to win souls.
Fortunately, Joseph will grow and mature. He will teach us what it means to win the favor of the very ones who would persecute him. He will continue to have dreams, gifts from God, but he will learn how to be a better steward of those dreams.
Prayer: Father, today I receive your love for me. I also receive your love for every person in whose eyes I will look this day. Help me to know the truth and live in freedom. Help me also to share the truth that others might be set free. Restrain those parts of me that would turn others from Christ. May others see me decrease and Jesus increase as the Holy Spirit makes me look like Him. Amen.