The episodes on the life of Joseph have been quite revealing. The lessons from his sojourn from the plains of Padanaram to the elevated position of prime minister are chronicled under the “Where are You?” Series here. You can also catch a glimpse of the Joseph story here.
While it is interesting to benchmark the key stops and stations in our lives with the P’s in Joseph’s life, what is more interesting is to observe the principles and habits of Joseph that make it easy for him to navigate and make progress. By mastering the principles of Joseph, you can experience the blessings so evident in Joseph’s life.
There are about 8 key principles evident in the life of Joseph, today’s principle is what I call the principle of responsibility.
This principle states that wherever you find yourself, take responsibility! Learn to serve diligently and learn to take on whatever needs to be done and do it.
Never wait until you become before you act. If you don’t take action and serve today, you will never become. Proverbs 12:24 underscores a very interesting reality – The hand of the diligent shall bear rule, but the lazy man will be given to forced labour. This means you cannot spot the difference between the lazy and the diligent by their work schedule. The hardworking will be seen as working, while the lazy will also be seen as working. What differentiates them is not work, their key difference is who chose their work for them. The diligent are proactive about work, they make the work choice. The lazy are given to work, they work out of compulsion. The destination of the diligent is also leadership – his hand shall bear rule. The diligent always end up in the presence of kings (Prov 22:29).
Here are the demonstrations of this principle in Joseph’s life.
- In Padanaram he serves by helping with his fathers flock. The first verse that introduces Joseph in Gen 37 connects him to helping his father and brothers out in the pastures. Joseph is introduced as someone who is helping out at work. Don’t wait until you are paid, work. Don’t wait till it’s perfect, work. Start out making sure your hands are not idle. Idleness is a gateway for sin. The idle man tempts the devil to tempt him.
- In Potiphar’s House he takes responsibility for everything until Potiphar only cared for his food. Human beings are by nature lazy, and anytime there is someone who is willing to take responsibility, they usually will get more responsibility. If you have not moved forward significantly in the last few years it’s because you haven’t decided to take more responsibility. Don’t wait to be given, take responsibility. The more you take, the more you’ll be given. Joseph became CEO of Potiphar’s house. His plate kept getting loaded until Potiphar himself cared to do nothing but eat.
- In Prison he was in charge of all the other prisoners. The Guard abandoned all in his charge. Even in Prison, Joseph’s work ethic and principle of responsibility soon puts him in charge in a matter of time. There is no where you will not rise to the top of if you are given to service.
- In Egypt he became the master of Egypt and Father to Pharaoh. Joseph’s introduction of himself to his father, was that he had become Master of Egypt – technically in charge of the nation, and a father to Pharaoh. Joseph’s responsibility was not only national, he also had personal responsibility for Pharaoh as a human being.
The principle of responsibility will help you navigate from wherever you are, to where you are meant to be. With responsibility you cannot but get to the palace!
For the full audio of the Joseph Principles, link up with HCCC to get a copy.