Joseph, the one with the really colorful coat back in the Biblical day, got totally screwed by his brothers. They betrayed him because they were tired of hearing Jacob, their dad, chirp about what a great kid he was. So, while working beside him one day out in the field, they sold him into slavery, faked his death for dear old dad, and, smugly, satisfied their need for some kinda crazy justice. Yup, they got even.
Joseph got screwed. He was just getting started too. After the dusty drive deep into Egypt he slaved away in obscruity for years. After years of this toil, it took a turn for the worse. Joseph was the slave of a man named Potiphar and one day Potiphar’s wife made a pass at poor Joseph. He politely said no and she screamed rape. Joseph ends up in prison – betrayed yet again.
While in prison, his character becomes more virtuous instead of more bitter. He somehow continues to trust God and gives more and more of his pain over to Him. He becomes more compassionate and his heart becomes more whole. He has an ability to interpret dreams and one day the Pharaoh catches wind of it. Summoned before the big guy, Joe tunes in like an animal being stalked and calmly tells him what his dream means. Famine is a coming, he says. Yikes.
Pharaoh prepares. Famine comes. Egypt is ready and Joe has his big break. He’s promoted to V.P. of Grain and before you know it his brothers show up asking for food. Justice is coming. Sweet revenge. Finally, payback. His brothers don’t recognize him so he plays with them a bit before revealing who he is. Instead of getting his justice thread back in line from some major tweakage by giving them what they deserve, he shocks them and all of us that follow the story in Genesis 50. He forgives them. He lets them off the hook. I think it’s kinda cool this is the first place in the Bible where the word forgive is written.
Joe’s family was a mess, just like yours and mine. Joe’s no normal Joe, you know. He allowed God to straighten him out so he didn’t have to go around straightening everyone up himself. Joseph forgave. Joseph restored his brothers. Joseph repaired relationship with his family. Joseph was a leader worth learning from. Remember, all leaders are master repairmen and women. What relationships are in need of repair, my friend? Who are you refusing to release from the prison of your mind? You do realize that the longer you hold onto the anger, the more toxins wreck havoc in you? Joe lived hard. He loved harder. How ‘bout you, friend? Slow down and reflect. Maybe settling the score, getting even, and even revenge are not as rewarding as repair. Repair, friend.
Live hard. Love harder…