What’s Up Your Sleeve?


Have you ever been around a person that arrogantly talks about their accomplishments and constantly pines for attention? Maybe they wear their spiritual résumé on their sleeve always reminding you of their qualifications and successes.

How fast do you want to get away from them and find the nearest exit?

Genesis 37 tells Joseph’s story and he’s quite similar to that person whose presence we hurry to escape. This Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob. He was knowingly loved more than his brothers by his father. It wasn’t a secret. And because of this, his brothers hated him. To make matters worse, on top of the favoritism, he gets this snazzy one-of-a-kind coat made by his father. Joseph was the distinguished son. Daddy’s special boy. Poppa’s preferred. Then, while sporting his new & exclusive fashion sport coat, he shares a dream of himself reigning over his brothers and this dream sends them clear over the edge.

As if it’s not bad enough already, not only is he the favorite son & the most loved but he’s now going to rule over his brothers….AND they’re expected to bow down.

Pretty degrading for the brothers, huh?
Wouldn’t you be upset?
A hierarchy of love had developed among their family and was being left unaddressed.

As we read through Genesis, Joseph’s brothers’ hate only intensified. His dream eventually does come to fruition but only after his brothers mocked his gift & dream, scorned him, threatened to kill him, sold him to slavery, and lied about his death.

Wouldn’t you agree that these levels of love opened the door to levels of hate?
People who are loved less will typically hate more.

We already live in a ranked society; we have our own hierarchy system: marriage status, schools, race, churches, neighborhoods, etc.
And especially in this case, it wasn’t as much about the dream details as it was the delivery.

So, what can we do to communicate the dream, the faith, our hope, effectively?
We should want to be wary of being so abundantly gifted but lacking guidance. Or gaining such deep revelation without the ability to build relationships.
Instead of swinging our “coat” and flaunting our faith with an anointed arrogance, let’s make an effort to increase our discretion and build strong relationships.
Want to change your community? Love more! Your schools? Love more! Your city? Love more!

Our love will pave the way for the dream.

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One thought on “What’s Up Your Sleeve?

  1. What a lovely post! I thought those people who boast about their achievements were only around me. I have learned a big lesson from this post about love. Parents must be careful how they love their children because it can bring about hatred in the family. Joseph was loved by his parents but that led to the hatred of his brothers. Parents should treat all children the same. No favorite children. Finally, I agree with you about the power of love. If we all loved, the world would be an excellent place for all to enjoy.

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