November 10 Reflections

We have been looking at the life of Joseph around the theme that God is up to something in all our circumstances for our good. So far, we have seen this truth in our families of origin, when we are treated unfairly, and when we are forgotten. Joseph has been in prison for thirteen years for something he did not do, and he has been forgotten by someone who could have helped. What possible good can come out of this? I believe that God uses the circumstances of our lives to teach us humility. Joseph learned humility in the thirteen years in prison which led to wisdom.

Joseph, at seventeen, told his brothers and dad that they were all going to bow down to him. Now I don’t think that was wise. Sure, you can have the dream that could be interpreted that way, but I think you would keep that to yourself. But we all pretty much have the same heart issue. In my pride I want people to “bow down” to me or dance around me or at least I want to be the big noise at the party where trumpets blow when I walk in.  C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.” In my pride I want to be independent of God and do what I want (in other words be God). Also, in pride I want to be the center of attention. Humility is something very different. Try this definition on: humility is the place of entire dependence on God, where I choose to forego status and use my resources and influence for the good of others before myself.

Jim Collins wrote the best- selling book Good to Great which is a summary of a five-year study of what turned good businesses into great businesses. It was a surprise for many that one of the key factors in all good-to-great companies was leadership characterized by humility and determination. Big personalities were not required. High powered charisma was not required. Good looks were not required. In fact, many of the leaders were self-effacing, quiet, reserved, even shy-but they had this blend of humility and determination or grit.  Joseph learned humility in the crucible of his circumstances to be completely dependent on God and to serve others. We are going to think about this on Sunday. How has God forged humility into our lives through our circumstances, which are for our good? Some passages to read and reflect on: Genesis 41; Philippians 2:1-11; 1 Peter 5:5-7; Matthew 11:28-30.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn