When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back?” (Gen. 50:15)
For many years, I ran my words and actions through the filter of what I predicted other people would say and think. The potential impressions and opinions of other people crippled my confidence, attitudes, and behaviors. That is an exhausting way to live, isn’t it? Maybe you have wrestled with a similar pattern of measuring what you say and do because of others’ perception.
Early in Joseph’s life, he experienced a great deal of favor from his father. By the end of his life, he had also experienced his fair share of people lying about him, accusing him, and rejecting him. But what is inspiring about the life of Joseph is that he never let that deter him from doing the next right thing. He never compromised because of criticism, wavered because of others’ wickedness, or backed down because of betrayal. Joseph did the right thing even when it wasn’t the popular thing.
Genesis 50:15 is one example of Joseph’s brothers speculating and guessing what he might do next. What is great about the situation that follows is that Joseph does something they would never have guessed: he forgives them and does what he can to restore the relationship. While Joseph wasn’t perfect, he did his best to do the right thing even if it wasn’t what everyone else was doing. And we can too.
Do the right thing even when it is not the popular thing.
Joel J. Gorveatte deeply loves Jesus, his wife, and the church. He serves as the worship and next steps pastor at Journey [Wesleyan] Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.