A short time back, I had a discussion with a woman who worked at a small day care center and was replacing her driver license. As we talked, she explained that a mother came to pick up her child. When the day care worker went to get the baby, the mother ran around the counter and stole her purse before the day care worker returned with the child. The whole incident was recorded on video, but the mother was not caught until after she had charged over $3,000 on the credit card and thrown the contents of the purse away.
To make matters worse, the day care worker explained, the child had recently been sick and in the hospital. The staff of the day care had gone to visit the child in the hospital and had even brought food for the family. After all this, the mother showed her gratitude by stealing the purse.
Those types of stories are almost enough to make you never trust anyone at all.
It reminds me a lot of Joseph. Over and over in his life, Joseph was beat down and usually by the people he was closest to or he had helped the most. His brothers sold him into slavery, his master’s wife accused him of attacking her and a man he had helped greatly, totally forgot him.
But, Joseph always came out on top. It seems each time life knocked him down, he recovered and came out better than before. Ultimately, he became Pharaoh’s second in command and was literally in charge of the mightiest nation of the time.
But what was it that made Joseph successful? I suspect that it shows up in the passage from his time in prison.
Genesis 39 – 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority,[a] because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper.
Joseph never gave up and God blessed what he did, not what he wanted to do or should have done. God blessed what he put his hand to. Time and again, scripture shows Joseph focusing on his work and doing the best job he could possibly do. Realize, too, this was not a period of few days. This occurred over years.
Joseph is one of our greatest models for being a success and Bible is clear how he did it.
Diligent Work + Perseverance
That was his secret. Not much more to it.
As Christians in the market place, we will get hurt by people close to us. Look at these examples and see if you’ve experienced something similar.
An employee quits and takes business with them. And it’s usually the employee that you invested the most into their training.
You lose an account with a customer that you’ve bent over backwards to help because they were in a bind. You cut your profit margin down to nothing and extended credit. Now they’ve taken their business elsewhere and aren’t even paying back what they owe.
In my line of business, we see embezzlement cases on a regular basis. When the dust settles, the owners usually state that it was the person they trusted the most. It was their ‘right hand man/woman’.
That is so disheartening, but our job is not to clam up and shut out the human race. We are to continue being a light on the hill.
Often times, we meander through life wondering why things have happened to us, when we should continue to focus on our task at hand and not giving up. With that in mind, Paul’s words make even more sense when he says:
Galatians 6 – 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.