«The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor» (Proverbs 12:24).
Joseph was Jacob’s second-to-last son and was raised with great privileges next to his father. However, one day his brothers mercilessly sold him to an Ishmaelite caravan going to Egypt. With a broken heart, now Joseph was a slave serving Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officers. With what spirit was he going to face his work life? Here’s a report from his service record during his stay in Potiphar’s house: «The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate» (Genesis 39:2-6).
Yes, Joseph was a hard worker, a leader. However, Potiphar’s wife’s harassment sent him to prison for two years. Nevertheless, once again he showed his excellent attitude toward work: «But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper» (Genesis 39:21—23).
The industrious Hebrew young man became governor of Egypt, right beneath Pharaoh. Nothing stopped him from being successful at work: not the fact he was a slave, or being far from his family, or his religion. It’s hard to have more complex working conditions than Joseph’s. But with God’s help, he managed to overcome them.
Like Joseph, you can also overcome your challenging circumstances. God will help you be diligent and develop your leadership.