Joseph was a kid that looked after his familyâ€™s sheep, and had 10 older brothers that werenâ€™t too fond of him.Â They disliked him so much that they threw him into a pit then sold him into slavery in the same day.Â He ended up in Egypt working for a guy named Potipher, whoâ€™s wife had a crush on Joseph and hit on him almost every day.Â He denied her every time, so she falsely accused him and he wound up in jail.Â There, God empowered him to interpret the dreams of two inmates, one of which was freed and went back to work for the king.Â So when the king had a disturbing dream that needed interpreted, Joseph was brought from the jail to the throne.
After a life of adversity and bad luck, Joseph finds himself in a potentially redemptive and transformational moment before the king of all Egypt.Â Everything had culminated to this moment, and the question that the king would now ask, which was, â€œCan you interpret my dream.â€Â Joseph steps up, looks the king in the eye and confidently replies, â€œNo, I cannot.â€Â Pause.Â â€œBut God can,â€ he adds.
So God empowers Joseph to interpret the dream, which wasnâ€™t good news by the way, and yet Joseph doesnâ€™t hesitate to speak the truth.Â After hearing the interpretation predicting a 7 year famine, the king (in a strange turn of events) appoints Joseph to prepare Egypt for the coming doom.Â Joseph becomes his right hand man, second in charge of all Egypt, and saves Egypt, his own family, and many from surrounding lands as a result of it.
How did Joseph achieve this?Â How did he make his way from the pit to the palace?Â It wasnâ€™t from a good college education.Â It wasnâ€™t having a life mission statement.Â It wasnâ€™t from career counseling and a good resume.Â It wasnâ€™t from an aggressive business or life plan.Â In fact, I donâ€™t think it was from anything that he did at all.Â It was because of a decision that he made at a very young age.Â He decided to be a man of integrity, always speaking the truth, and to have a healthy work ethic, doing the best that he could in any situation to serve God, not man.
This suggests a disturbing conclusion that I have been wrestling with: perhaps what we do is not as important as who we are. In this age of action and busyness, character can easily fall to the wayside, or simply be defined by our Facebook status.Â But who are we at our core?Â Can we slow down enough, stop Tweeting long enough, turn the TV off long enough to look at ourselves in the mirror?Â What will we see?Â Who will we decide to be?Â What will we decide about our character?Â What will we identify as our personality, talents, spiritual gifts?Â Perhaps then and only then can we consider who God has created us to be, and how we can best reflect that reality.Â Our actions can then be fueled not by reaction or habit or distraction, but by conviction and character.