I’m realizing more each day that a person’s attitude is a big factor in their eventual overall success. While pondering over the subject of “Attitude”, I began to reflect on the lifestyles of two important biblical characters, Joseph and David.
I pictured Joseph being captured and sold into slavery although he went on an assignment to check on his brothers. His fate worsened when he was wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife and eventually thrown in prison. It’s hard to imagine how a person’s life can be filled with so much tragedy despite their best efforts to do the right thing. This tells me that doing the right thing does not always bring immediate positive results, but you just must keep persevering, and persevering is exactly what Joseph did. Throughout his despicable agony, there is no record of him being mean or bitter against anyone, he simply channeled his energy into positive deeds while in prison.
The only notable request he makes while in prison is when he asks the butler to remember him upon his release from prison (Joseph had interpreted the Butler’s dream to mean that he would be released from prison in three days). Isn’t it amazing that in the darkest of places and under unfair circumstances, Joseph continued to develop and exercise his gift!! Call it fate or destiny, the butler is released after three days but he forgets his friend Joseph until Pharaoh has a troubling dream. It is at this moment that the butler remembers Joseph and Joseph is released from prison to interpret the dream.
Clearly, his current circumstances did not look promising. Little did he know that his positive attitude and the use of his talent in the unlikeliest of places was the very thing that would propel him to his own destiny. How else would the Butler have recommended him to the King if Joseph never exercised his gift? And what if Joseph was a terrible person to be around? He would have missed out on his divine promotion.
In the end, Pharaoh appoints him governor to oversee the years of plenty and famine. In a foreign land, Joseph becomes the 2nd in command although the odds were stacked up against him. If Joseph had focused on his unfair treatment and had allowed himself to be engulfed in resentment, he would have missed out on his opportunity to become the governor. I don’t think he had any inclination that he would someday become governor; all he had was his own dream of his brothers bowing down to him, but he didn’t know exactly how that would play out.
I can’t even begin to fathom how Joseph chose to forgive and embrace his brothers at the very moment when he had all the power and opportunity to seek revenge. That is the epitome of forgiveness, great character and a positive lens. I’m sure by now Joseph understood the bigger picture of his life and acknowledged that his prior woes paled in comparison with his present gains. There was no need for him to rehash the past; he had more important things to worry about.
If you have lived long enough, you will agree that life can be unfair. Terrible things can happen to good people, but great things are in store for those who continue to maintain a positive attitude through it all. In the place of turmoil is where a person’s real character and attitude is developed. I encourage you to choose to adjust your emotions and thought process and to expend your energy on things that are positive. Do stay the course on whatever your convictions are.
While it might be frustrating to remain calm in the face of unfair adversity, you deny yourself the opportunity to grow if you stay bitter. You don’t know who might be watching, and you can never predict what tomorrow brings, so whether in your public or private space, remain positive, apply wisdom and stay focused. Like Joseph, if you stay the course, your day of victory will surely come.
So, what if you have persisted for soo long and people continue to harm you? What if it’s a relationship where a partner is abusive? Do you continue to stay the course?
To be continued: