Josephs brothers rejected him. He must have had some pretty annoying little brother traits for his older brothers to actually sell him into slavery. To be rejected by his own brothers must have cut Josephs heart deeply. Joseph could have chosen to dwell on his rejection causing it to grow and change his life into one of self-pity. I imagine if he had chosen to indulge in self-pity he would have ended up as Potiphers dishwasher for the next 40 years. Emotionally unable to move himself out of his misery.
God offers to accept us no matter how dark our hearts. It is our choice to accept or reject his offer of love and acceptance. Joseph chose to believe that God accepted him even though his brothers found him so repulsive they actually wanted to kill him. Because Joseph accepted Gods love into his life, he lived his life of slavery in service to God.
The Bible doesn’t talk about it, but Josephs daily life as a slave must have provided many opportunities to choose to act out God’s love or to live in self-pity. God needed to remove the rough edges of those annoying little brother characteristics in order to reveal the diamond he had in mind when he first imagined Joseph. When Joseph chose God, God was able to use love to remove the rejection put there by his brothers. Love for God motivated him to actions that God was able to use for a whole nations good.
Remember the old fable where the wind and the sun have a conversation about who can get the man to take his coat off? The wind takes his turn first and blows with all its might on the man, but the man just hugs his coat tighter. Finally, all out of breath the wind lets the sun take a turn. The sun peeks out from behind the cloud and the man appreciates the warmth. Finally the sun comes out in full array and glory shining its heat on the man. The man can’t resist any longer and removes his coat.
Rejection usually makes us feel like pulling our coat tighter and not revealing ourselves to others. Acceptance, not rejection, creates a change in people’s hearts and lives. God uses love as a motivational tool. God’s love is like the sun. He shines His love on us accepting us just as we are. As His love warms our heart we can reveal ourselves and live the authentic lifestyle God designed us to live.
…..but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. Philippians 3:13 NLT