I know I worte yesterday about Joseph having a courageous conversation related to his boss’s wife trying to hit on him, but Joseph had other courageous conversations as well. Another example of his courageous conversation is his discussion with some servants of Pharoah who had been thrown in prison w Joseph – the cupbearer & baker. In this conversation with these men, Joseph interpreted their dreams. One would live & be restored to his position under Pharoah & the other would die.
Now, here’s why I think Joseph’s conversation with these men was courageous – he was concerned. The reason I think Joseph’s concern was courageous is because the opposite of concern, apathy & selfishness, are the coward’s reply to the needs of others. When these men told Joseph their dreams, there wasn’t much that Joseph could do to help them, but he could use his God-given talents with interpreting dreams to express his concern.
In a similar way, there are probably some people in our lives with whom we need to have a courageous conversation to express our concern & care – maybe concern about their choices, relationship w God, etc.
Apathy is for cowards, but concern is for the courageous
Wow! This is certainly a theme in my life right now! A courageous conversation is a discussion that requires courage – it can require courage for a variety of reasons. As such, let’s look at Joseph (in Genesis 37-42) to look at 1 of his courageous conversations:
Maybe Joseph’s first courageous conversation required bravery because of his convictions. Consider his dialogue with Potipher’s wife, who wanted to make out w Joseph. When you read what Joseph said in Gen 39:8-9, you can see that he needed courage to say what he said: “But he refused and said to his master’s wife, ‘Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?'”
Convictions require courage & when we are asked to do something that violates our convictions, we must draw on God’s strength & wisdom to share with diplomacy & bravery that we will not violate those convictions. Let’s be brave & gracious in our conversations, with God’s wisdom, strength & love 🙂
When I was growing up, my parents would always encourage me to develop my people skills – I still need to work on this area. I remember them saying that while I could learn lots of book knowledge, I would USE people skills every day and they’re right. People skills are really important – so here are a few things that I’m learning & I would LOVE for you to add your insights on what you feel are important people skills to develop 🙂
Here are some ideas to get our conversation started:
- respect – regardless of your frame of mind or preconceived ideas, each person with whom we interact needs respect, even if they’re behaving in disrespectful ways. I’ve never regretted being respectful, but I’ve always regretted being disrespectful
- serving others – when I get my mind to look for ways to help or serve others, rather than expecting to be served, I’m almost always deeply content & satisfied in ways that far eclipse the times when I am served
- humility – the attitude of “all that & a bag of chips” has never really worked for me; it almost always sabotages any kind of constructive interaction
- encouragement – I’ve found that people flourish & blossom with encouragement & genuine praise more than put downs & degradation.
- silence is golden – its very important to screen your thoughts before they’re expressed from your lips. When I say less, it seems that people think more of me – what a shock ,)
So what are some people skills you have or would like to have? Whadya think???