A Success That Won’t Fade
By Jennifer Slattery
“And the Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.” Genesis 39:2
As a young mom, though I knew I was doing what God wanted, I rarely would’ve called myself successful. Instead, I routinely felt insufficient, insignificant, and overwhelmed.
I’d watch clearly more “important” women in my neighborhood hurriedly leave for work dressed in important looking suits and blazers. While I pretended to sip from plastic, miniature teacups my chubby-cheeked daughter had spread before us.
My struggle wasn’t unique. In our achievement-oriented culture, it’s easy to undervalue those seemingly small yet noble and God-ordained activities we engage in each day. It’s easy to think that perhaps our roles and efforts don’t truly matter, but God says otherwise.
In fact, Scripture demonstrates again and again, the greatest achievements, when done apart from God, mean nothing. They’ll eventually fade like once vibrant rose gardens now past their prime. Everything done out of love for Christ, however, leaves glorious and eternal results—a legacy of life extending far beyond ours.
I wonder how Joseph, the Hebrew slave referenced in today’s verse, viewed himself, while serving under his Egyptian master. Would he have called himself successful? Surely his days were far different than he imagined they’d be, back when he’d been living in Canaan with his father. He’d dreamt of so much more! That he’d rise to a position of esteem and authority, where even those in his biological household would recognize his worth and power.
But here he stood, a lowly slave, forced to work for someone else’s dreams and prestige. How could anyone possibly deem him successful?
Yet Scripture demonstrates that’s precisely how God viewed him, because according to our Father, success has little to do with outcome. But it has everything do with obedience, and through everything Joseph experienced, whether laid low or, later, elevated to Egypt’s second in command, Joseph honored God in everything he did.
And others noticed, God most of all.
God notices us, as well, when we follow Joseph’s example.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com or book her for your next women’s event.
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