Saturday, October 5, 2019

Who I Want to Be (and Perceived to Be)

In Genesis 39, Joseph is blessed by God-- and Potiphar knows that Joseph has been blessed by God. The narrative (as usual in Genesis) is geniusly-sparse. But we can ably fill in the blanks with easy assumptions and reach two key inferences. 

First, Joseph was capable and working hard, but being blessed by God. Borrowing from my pastor in Texas, this is a matter of God's provision and Joseph's participation. Or paraphrasing something I read a long time ago: pray as if it depends on God and work as if it depends on you. 

Second, Joseph was "living out his faith", but talking about it well too (Mt 5:14-16). It was enough talk that Potiphar connected the dots, giving God the credit as he gave promotions to Joseph. But it was not so much talk that it was annoying to an Egyptian.  

Who are we at work and in life? How are we seen by others? Who gets the credit for our successes and the blame for our failures? And how do we tactfully and graciously give glory to God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, particularly when talking with folks who don't know the Trinitarian God of the Bible? 

In that light, I was thinking about who I strive to be and how I hope I'm seen.

-what Christ has done for me;
-what the Holy Spirit does in living through me;
-my desire to live for God's glory;
-and to make the goodness of God's Kingdom more accessible to others.

I want to be-- and to be seen as-- ...
-loving and respecting all people, particularly the more marginal in society
-full of grace and truth in actions (John 1:14)
-full of grace but tactfully seasoned with salt in my words (Colossians 4:6)
-"thoroughly equipped" for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17)
-one has watched his "life and doctrine closely" (I Timothy 4:16)
-righteous but not self-righteous
-having high standards for myself but without being legalistic
-having appropriately strong expectations for others while being patient with them
-neither negligent nor corrupt (Daniel 6:4)
-conscientious but funny
-smart and humble
-fun-loving and hard-working
-getting things done but having time for people
-tough but fair as a teacher
-an effective communicator to large groups, small groups, and one-on-one
-gentle with the vulnerable but rough on the self-righteous
-a defender of the oppressed and a prophet who calls out the powers-that-be for sins of omission and commission
-striving keenly for justice but not settling for good intentions
-liberal but not Democrat or Left
-conservative but not Republican or Right
-having "work produced by faith, labor motivated by love, and endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ" (I Thessalonians 1:3)


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