August 12, 2008
Joseph is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. I mention him often because there’s so much to learn from this successful young man. In fact, his youth is an important lesson in and of itself, and today’s passage reveals two of his character traits that we should emulate.
First, he demonstrated a servant spirit early in life. In every exchange between Joseph and his father or masters, he embodies the very picture of respect and discipline. The young man never acts out against those in authority over him; on the contrary, he continually goes out of his way to serve others.
It is worth noting that Joseph is about 17 years of age in Genesis 37. The teen years are a time when the youth of any era are prone to retaliation and selfishness. However, this boy was clearly taught from an early age that a real man is a servant to others.
Second, Joseph realized at a young age that God was controlling his life. How else can you explain his relentless pursuit of excellence throughout his various trials? No matter what happened to him, Joseph always remembered the divine visions that the Father had laid on his heart in his teen years (Gen. 37:1-6). He was convinced that there was a plan for his life and that somehow, sometime, God would reveal what it was.
Whether you are 17 or 77, the lessons of Joseph’s life are valuable. It is never too late to learn the art of service or to recognize God’s perfect plan. Even better, it’s never too late to help someone else discover these things.
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