As I have been preaching through the book of Genesis over the past year it dawned on me what a powerful testimony Joseph is when it comes to living out our faith in the business world. Here are three truths I see revealed from the life of Joseph regarding the workplace:
1. Joseph’s identity in the workplace was rooted in the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:1-3. Joseph knew that God had called his father, Jacob, and his family to be a blessing to the nations. No doubt this calling was confirmed to Joseph through the bizarre dreams he received. It is clear from Scripture that Joseph understood that this covenant impacted the way he viewed all of life, including his job. Genesis 12:1-3 is more than a few verses prompting God’s people to be nice to others. The Abrahamic Covenant is part of our very identity as the people of God; to be a blessing to the nations. Does Genesis 12:1-3 shape your view of the workplace?
2. Joseph knew who his Boss was. The nation of Egypt actually believed that Pharaoh was god-incarnate. Imagine working for a guy with that kind of ego! Most of us, upon learning this wacked doctrine, would have bailed. We never hear Joseph say, “I can’t work for this pagan boss.” Why? Joseph knew who his true Boss was. He knew that God had strategically positioned him in the workplace as an agent of love and blessing. Are your consciously aware throughout the week that you are doing your job for king Jesus?
3. Joseph served God with all his heart in the good and bad times. Joseph is, at this moment, my favorite Old Testament guy. He reminds me alot of the apostle Paul. Paul wrote this in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Paul was faithful regardless of the circumstances of life. Allow me to make this personal. If I were sitting in a prison, like Joseph, because I was obedient to God there is an (ever so slight) chance that I would not be a shining picture of contentment and trust. Joseph knew that when his station and status in life was low that God was still good and wanted to use him for his redemptive purposes. Likewise, when Joseph was promoted to a prestigious job with big money he was still faithful to God in all that he did. I simply can not think of a another person in Scripture that teaches us so much about the life we should live in the workplace as Joseph. Are you faithfully serving God and others even if you feel undervalued in the workplace? If things are going well and you are experiencing more obvious success, are you using your position for your own gain or to be a blessing to others?
4. Joseph did not fall into the deception of full-time ministry vs secular job!