The story of Joseph in the Bible is a great reminder of how God often rewards godly behavior with His protection and blessing. Producer James Bruyn shows us that godly behavior can indeed make a difference in the workplace.
James Bruyn is a bi-vocational visionary leader, writer and speaker who enjoys helping individuals integrate their faith in God with their daily life. James leads a ministry to Christians in the marketplace in Calgary, in Calgary, provides leadership coaching, and consults for the rail industry. James produces Marketplace Ministry for our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio. Contact us if you would like to learn more about how God changes lives.
A Trusted Slave
She watched him like a hawk. It seemed like he had the Midas touch. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. Yet he was just a slave. A colored slave from a foreign country. Her husband had slaves before, but none of them were like this man. The last slave – she caught pocketing change from shopping in the market. She smiled as she remembered watching his fingers being chopped off after she told her husband what the slave had done. But this slave was different, he always settled accounts with his master as soon as her husband returned. Her husband finally told the slave, in exasperation, “I know you aren’t cheating me, my wife knows you aren’t cheating – so stop laying out before me how you handle my money – I trust you.”
Most of the slaves just did the bare minimum to escape punishment, but not this slave. She still smiled at the creative excuses they used. Her favorite was the slave who said “He couldn’t wash the dishes because of a cut on his finger.” She made sure that slave had more than a few cuts from lashes on his back. But this slave, who looked like a spoiled puppy who never worked a day in his life when he arrived, not only washed the dishes, he polished the silver and gold afterwards. She just couldn’t figure him out.
A Strange Religion
After he had been there for a few months, her husband had asked her “What do you think honey, should we put him charge of entire household?” “Can we trust him with everything we own?”
Taking a deep breath, she replied “You know honey, I don’t understand what motivates him, I can’t find any fault in him, except maybe his strange religion. I haven’t heard him once say anything negative about you. I have never heard him complain. He won’t even join the other servants when they are grousing about their treatment or complaining about how they think the household could be run better. So yes dear, I think we can trust him. Don’t worry honey, I’ll keep an eye on him, and if he does anything wrong, I’ll be sure to let you know. I just wish he wouldn’t always have that quiet, peaceful look on his face.”
Caressing her lovely long hair, and soft cheeks, her husband longingly looked at her and smiling said “I love you honey, you just keep your eagle eyes on him”.
After he was promoted, she started to notice changes in the attitudes of the other slaves. They complained less, and they started doing more than just the minimum. On the one hand she enjoyed having more time with her husband, and seeing her husband relax now that he had no household business items to worry about. But In a sadistic way, she missed the old days when she could wield her power and cause a slave to suffer. Yet when she was honest with herself, she enjoyed the fruit of the blessings of the Lord that this Godly man brought to their household. But that would not be enough for her. …
A Man of Integrity
Soon she began to lust after this man. His attitude, his looks aroused her sexually. And sadly that was her undoing, the final straw, for he was a man of integrity. When she couldn’t have him sexually, she did in her mind what was the next best thing. She cruelly arranged for his downfall. He would rot in prison … or so she thought.
A few months later, at a dinner party, she overheard some of the ladies talking about a prisoner who was had so distinguished himself by his righteous behavior that, the jailer trusted him with running the entire prison. Could this be her former slave, whom she had hoped would rot in prison? Then one of those ladies came over to her, and said “I hear your family hasn’t been doing as well lately – what’s going on? Does it have something to do with the fact that your former slave is now in jail, and running everything there? We hear that your former slave continues to be obedient and trust in his God in prison, just like he did when we worked for you. In fact, some people are saying that because of Joseph, there is a ‘canopy of grace’ over the prison.”
Joseph the Godly Man
Was it truly possible that Yahweh, Joseph’s God was with Joseph in prison, and showing kindness to Joseph? Much as she hated to speak his name, she had to admit that Joseph was a Godly man. She had to admit that her family had been sheltered and blessed under ‘a canopy of grace’ while Joseph was their servant. Begrudgingly she had to acknowledge that the only explanation she had for the blessings they had experienced back then, was that the hand of the Lord had blessed them because of Joseph’s Godly character.
Your righteousness is making a difference in your workplace! Your Godly behavior is bringing a blessing to the people where you work! Your honesty has been noticed not only by your employer, but by the people you work with. The fact that you don’t make excuses, but do the work you are asked to do, and do it with a smile is appreciated. The fact that you go the extra mile, to make sure that things are in the right order, and the right place, so that work is easier for your colleagues, hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Many people find it remarkable that you quietly avoid the griping about your boss, and the complaints about the way the company is being run. In fact when people ask your opinion, they are amazed that you always have something positive to say. When you do speak, people know that you are speaking the truth motivated by love, with a desire to see things improve, rather than to see someone being belittled or hurt. In fact nobody can remember you ever stabbing somebody in the back, or saying hateful things. Your righteous behavior is making a difference in your organization.
Within your sphere of influence (however limited that might be), by being Christ’s living presence in your workplace, by having the Lord’s favor rest upon you, you are a ‘canopy of grace’ for your co-workers. Your words, your smiles, your peaceful demeanor bring joy and gladness to people’s hearts. Because you delight in the law of the Lord, God has planted you like a tree by streams of water that brings a cool shadow of protection, and beauty within your workplace.
Let Your Righteousness Shine
If your employer watches you like a hawk ready to chop your head off for the slightest misdeed – may your righteousness shine like the day. If your employer supports you and affirms you for your faithfulness and trustworthiness, continue to remain faithful and obedient to the Lord. If your employer quietly admires you, or begrudgingly tolerates your contribution because of your character, continue to be holy, even as your savior is Holy.
The Lord has promised, that as you continue to trust in the Lord with all your heart that he will delight over you and that he will bring blessings through you to those around you. Wherever you go, by your righteousness, by your faith in your living savior, by your obedience to your risen Lord, you bring a canopy of grace to those in your sphere of influence.
James is passionate about connecting the rich promises of our loving Heavenly Father that we find in the Bible, with the joys and challenges of living out our faith in the workplace. James writes a weekly devotional at marketplace-ministry.ca/blog
Images Courtesy Of:
Business Meeting – Unsplash
Check list – Jarmoluk
Joseph & Potiphar’s Wife – Guido Reni