“So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.’” – Genesis 41:16
Through a series of twists and turns, betrayals, prison, and slavery, Joseph ended up giving policy advice to the ruler of the Egyptian empire (Gen. 41:37). If you’ve heard his story before, then you’ve probably been reading it pretty passively – you know there is a happy ending. But, I urge you to take a step back and consider how extraordinary this is: a foreign boy sold into slavery is now Pharaoh’s right hand man. That’s God, y’all.
If a reporter came up to Joseph though and asked him what the secret is to his success, Joseph would say: God. He could easily take the credit for his successful interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams in order to appear confident and competent before the King. I mean, when I present something to my boss, I take the credit, even though I fully know that the reason I am successful is because God is in me and He is the one feeding my mind with wisdom. That’s the difference between Joseph and I – on my performance reviews, it says that Yelena did this and that, but to the King, Joseph was “a man in whom is the Spirit of God” (Gen. 41:38). It was the same for Daniel (Dan. 2:28-30; 47) and Moses. These men all did valiant, big things in the name of God.
That promise is given to you too: a woman who excels in her work will stand before kings; she will not stand before unknown men (Proverbs 22:29). When I read this though, two questions come to mind: (1) how do I excel? and (2) kings? really?.
First, the excelling thing. I could write a book about this, but the bottom line is this: do everything to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Give credit where it’s due (Acts 3:12). Without God, we are nothing. It is because of His great mercy that we are alive today. When our priorities align with God, He blesses the work of our hands (Deut. 28:12; Ps. 90:17). Because when you dedicate something to God, blessings arise.
Second, kings. People notice quality and proficiency. Whether you’re a janitor or a political adviser to the President, when you do good work, it will be noticed – by your peers, superiors and anyone who takes the time to look. Your teachers or bosses may not always comment on it, but trust me, they notice. When it comes time to grades, raises, or promotions, your efforts will be recognized.
Further reading: Proverbs 22:29 and 17:2, Acts 7:10; Daniel 6:3; Acts 3:12