Monday, February 15, 2016

Sent and Made – Giving up the Credit

We are in the midst of the political process that will ramp up to the presidential election. It is rather remarkable, a process culminating in a change of leadership with no tanks rolling through the streets nor fear of an incoming coup. In the midst of this change, it seems we are provided a bevy of each candidate touting their beliefs and qualifications as loudly and proficiently as they can. At times, to my ears it becomes a noise of egos and polls to me.

 We all have some ego involved in our life; this is the sense of self-importance and self-respect we need to act with healthy confidence. It impacts how we decide to treat ourselves and others, to distinguish our identity. A healthy ego helps us create the needed sense of respect which establishes good esteem and helps us to pursue wholesome options. An unhealthy ego could show itself with a range of issues; bottoming out by seeing ourselves as disvalued and damaged or ratcheting up to a point where the self is more important than others around them.

Joseph was sent to Egypt as a sold slave, betrayed by his family and placed through what must have been a terrifying sequence of events. That would have been an ego blow, confidence and identify would seemingly be completely devastating. Yet, with every twist and turn of Joseph’s story, when he had supposed justification to throw his hands up in disgust at the situations or the opportunity to claim the credit of preserving a people through a drought, he instead pointed always back to God.

Nearly at the end of Joseph’s story, as the loose ends are being tied up, Joseph’s ego perspective is clearly displayed.

“And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Please come near to me.’ So they came near. Then he said: ‘I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.’”
Genesis 45:4-8

God sent, the phrase is said over and over in these words. In just a few strokes of a pen Joseph displays a maximum amount of confidence along with great humility; giving God credit for all of the good things and in giving God faith through all of the bad things. Joseph’s sense of identity and trust, of being able to focus on using his talents for the good of the people around him did not falter. That is a healthy ego attitude of credit.