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making the connection | May 20, 2018

May 17, 2018

Think of someone who has had a positive impact on your life. Often what sets apart these folks isn’t their success, their charisma, or their intelligence. Many times we’re impacted by their attitude in the midst of trials, and their ability to accept the hand they’ve been dealt in life. My Grandpa John was that way. I have come to know him mostly through stories shared time and again at family gatherings. I’ve heard so many stories of how, despite personal challenges and turmoil, he would go out of his way to encourage others and show them he cared. He was always upbeat and gracious. Even casual acquaintances remembered him long after he’d passed out of their lives.  While he was only in my life for my first 3 years, he made a lasting impact.

At the end of Genesis, we meet another figure who left a legacy thanks to his attitude and his willingness to accept what he’d be given (See Genesis 37-50). Joseph had every reason to seek revenge and lash out at others. He suffered a great deal throughout his life, yet his legacy isn’t that he got his revenge on his enemies. No, instead Joseph’s legacy is about resilience and forgiveness.  He truly believed that God’s greater plan was working itself out through his life, regardless of any setback. In Genesis 50:20, the moment came when he got the opportunity to crush the brothers who wronged him, and this is what he tells them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” How many people would’ve stewed for years, letting bitterness root into their hearts, just waiting for an opportunity to get revenge? Yet, Joseph trusts in God’s purposes and he releases any anger he had. Without Joseph first laying down his legitimate personal baggage (and he did lay it down), God couldn’t have used Joseph to impact Israel. That’s why Joseph has had a lasting impact that continues to this day.

God wants to use us to impact others today and He can’t do it if we allow a bad attitude or a tough circumstance to ruin our outlook on life. Choose to trust in the Lord and let Him use you to bring healing and hope to others. Leave a legacy by choosing to believe that God’s greater purpose in your life is a good one. Allow that hope to shape your attitude and relationship to others. –Nate Metler

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