Joseph had a roller coaster life. He was lavished, praised, exalted and honored at times. At other points in his career he experienced slavery, a prison sentence and loneliness. No matter what circumstances he experienced, he remained prudent ("sensible, sound judgment in practical matters"). After numerous ups and downs, he ultimately became the #2 man in all of Egypt where he had great influence and responsibility overseeing the food supply in preparation for seven years of famine. Because Joseph was prudent, Egypt was prepared for this potentially devastating situation.
Receiving praise and living up to the expectations of others can be a tremendous challenge. Former NFL quarterback Steve Pelluer had a great perspective when it came to reading the newspaper. He said, "I'm not nearly as good or bad as the press believes." Therefore he chose not to read the papers. He graciously handled praise, realizing he was only a few bad plays away from the "boo" birds. Steve knew first hand that he needed to play to an audience of One, not to the crowds or the media. God expects our best efforts in all of our activities. Whether on the job, in the classroom, on the athletic field, within our church or with our spouse, children and family, we are supposed to do our best for God's glory. God is our audience, not our employer, teacher, coach, pastor or spouse. When we remember that He is the one whom we serve, our performance can be centered solely on Him.
Before we become too impressed with our own accomplishments, we would be wise to remember that without God we can never achieve anything of lasting significance. Joseph and Steve Pelluer model this quality so well. No matter what's happening around them, they have their eyes focused on God. They know that being prudent has benefits both now and for all eternity.
The above noted character quality is an excerpt from Rod Handley's latest book, "Character Counts For Quiet Time and Small Groups" (Volume 1).In addition to sixteen different character qualities, you get a number of Scripture references and appropriate small group discussion questions. This book is perfect for any age, giving helps on how to live out the Christian life. It's retail price is $6.95. Additional character qualities will be put into future volumes.