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Tough Love

Tough Love

Genesis 40:18-19

And Joseph answered and said, “… In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree.”

We learn more about Christ-like leadership from Joseph’s brief exchanges in this dungeon than we do from entire biographies of many Old Testament kings, prophets, and priests, but don’t mistake his forthrightness here as a lack of empathy. Remember: he cares for this chief baker’s feelings. He sat down on his own volition to ask him why he looked so sad, in hopes of offering some word of encouragement to lift his spirits. But, evidently, this baker’s been involved in a plot against Pharaoh, the plot’s been discovered, and a noose is already being prepared. So while Joseph wishes he could bring better tidings, while the words hurt him to speak, he does what’s right. Because people after God’s own heart don’t forsake the truth for the sake of feelings.

Friend, aren’t you grateful for the Josephs God is raising up in our own corrupt generation? For the pastors and senators and school-teachers and judges and police officers and parents who are as resilient in telling the truth as they are in giving compassion? May we be counted among them today.