Living in Excellence

Message: Some little observations I picked up today were these: We know Joseph was unfairly thrown into the prison dungeon, and we know that even while in the dungeon God gave him favor with the warden so he had authority to the point that the warden had no worries because God caused everything Joseph did to succeed. I’ve heard plenty of “pit to the palace” messages on this but I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of duties and what kind of authority he had in there. What skills he already had from running his master’s house before he was thrown in there, and what new skills he developed while he was in there. But here is what kind of got me in a funny way this morning. After the baker and the cup bearer landed in the dungeon with Joseph, he was assigned to attend to them. They both had dreams on the same night and Joseph (who would have had his own feelings about being wrongfully sentenced to the prison dungeon) noticed that the two were distraught, and asked them why they were sad. I couldn’t help but almost laugh at the mental picture of them in this dark, smelly, dungeon speaking as if it was a clear beautiful morning as Joseph asks them why they are sad. Joseph understood the gravity and the reality of where he was and he had no indicators that his circumstances would change any time soon. Regardless, he lived with the same sort of excellence and attitude that he had as a slave in charge of his master’s estate, and this prepared him to continue to live with the same level of excellence when he became the second in command to the Pharaoh when he was eventually released and promoted. Joseph was literally the same guy in all three of those scenarios and the circumstances he was in changed nothing.

 Promise: If I live with excellence in everything I do and in every circumstance I am in, I will always be ready for what God has in store. I don’t know when or where that might be but if I live a life of continuous excellence I will never be caught unprepared.

Warning: If I change my ways based upon where I am, I will not live in excellence and I will be caught ill prepared when the time comes for promotion. Even worse, my attitude will both shape and expose me.

Application: This story reminds me of the person I want to be. A person who rises to the occasion and does not waste time and energy complaining. I want to be found busy making the environments I occupy better than they were when I arrived. I want to be known as a steady and reliable person that can be counted on, not swayed and moved by my emotions. I want to be an encourager, an empowerer and a problem solver. Lord Jesus, help me to be a person of excellence in everything I do. Help me to identify and eliminate behaviors that contradict this mindset, and help me to lead with influence, not influence with my emotions.

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