“Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
Genesis 45:4-5 NKJV

When you read this anchor text, did you think to yourself, “oh, what a sacrificial and selfless guy”? Let’s be real. If you were Joseph, would your reaction be the same?

Let us take a look at Joseph’s journey. A bright chap full of compelling dreams, one of which included ruling over his older brothers. Out of excitement or naivety he narrates all these dreams to his brothers. Perhaps he expected they would say “Congratulations, we now submit to your authority” Or maybe one would ask if he didn’t know about seniority in families and how last borns or younger ones are treated?

Well, he got the expected reaction except that this time, they nearly killed him until providence happened and he was sold to slavery. In spite of his dreams, he ends up as a slave in a strange land; fights temptation from his Madam; ends up in prison and still got disappointed by his co-prisoner. What an experience!

Now, this same man becomes a top government official seeing his dreams come through. Yet, while at this seat of power, something dramatic happened. His brothers, the same ones that nearly killed him but decided against it and sold him, appeared before him begging for bread. Let’s be real again, how would you react if you were in Joseph’s shoes?

Back to our anchor text. Joseph could have exerted revenge. It may be justified. He even had political powers to deal ruthlessly with his brothers. However, he exercised self control and this resulted in the preservation of his brothers and the future nation of Israel.

Fruit of the spirit is evidence of the life of Christ we have received. One of such evidence is self control (Galatians 5:22-23). It helps us to resist temptation and avoid conforming to the patterns of this world. Patterns such as anger, revenge, wickedness etc.

As humans, in the absence of the influence of the spirit, we will most likely let our emotions take control when we react to situations; we may even be vengeful and say hurtful things. There is always a bigger picture when we yield to the spirit.

The Bible never imagined we could exercise self-control all by ourselves. It is a product of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Philippians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Remarkably, Joseph did not have the Holy Spirit and yet reacted that way. How much more you who is filled with the Spirit? Your response to situations should be different no matter the temptation. So next time you are faced with situations requiring your urgent, fleshy reaction, yield to the Spirit.

Bible Reading Plan:
Luke 24:1-12, Hebrews 11:32-40, Proverbs 28:15-28, Isaiah 54-55

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