Being a Good Man: Trustworthy

Genesis 39:1-10

“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. 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.  And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And it came to pass after these things that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”  But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” 10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.” 

Hello and welcome back to Being a Good Man. Let’s jump right in to the craziness of Joseph’s life. The situation Joseph found himself in is not an uncommon one, especially now with social media; men are encountering women more and more than ever before. BUT men, just because you have encounters does not mean you need to act. Let’s look closer at Joseph to learn how you too can be a goodly person (v.6).

  1. Endure with a Good Attitude

Joseph was sold into slavery and taken as a slave to a foreign land that involved traveling through the desert. Take notice, he was “taken as a slave”. That means there was no emergency exit row with extra leg room, no car service with air conditioning and radio nor was he driving the newest and latest hands free capable car, he was a slave and he traveled as such from his home to a foreign land. Regardless of his circumstance he still conducted himself well. How do I know? Look at verse 2:

“The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

Joseph was just bought and taken out of a hole in the wilderness. A hole he was placed in by his brothers. [Now scripture does not state whether this man knew these were his brothers who sold Joseph or not]. But can you imagine being the head of the US military and being given a random man another group of men found in a hole (v.1). I know if I found a man in a hole and was going to give him employment, the last place I would put him would be in my house, near my family. But Potiphar did, he placed Joseph in his house [or Pharaoh’s house which could have been the same place]. This seems insane, how did he get to the “White House”? Look at the map below.

Joseph was sold into slavery in Dothan after he went to visit his brothers out in the field (Gen. 37:14-17). The Joseph traveled over 200 miles as a slave before cars, trains, buses and airplanes existed with the Ishmaelites. Once he arrived in Egypt, Potiphar purchased and him and just like today when making a purchase you check the reviews. After a 200 mile journey, the Ishmaelites became familiar with Joseph’s strengths and abilities. This long journey was probably a long, hot miserable experience for Joseph but it was also good for him because by the time he arrived in Egypt, the Ishmaelites could recommend him to Potiphar based on what they learned about him during the long journey. So now, Joseph is working in the house.

“…his master saw that the Lord was with him and the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” 

What does it look like to have the LORD with you? The second part of verse 3 is the highlight of God being with him. Things are looking up for Joseph’s master, ever since Joseph arrived every job they give him prospers.  Let’s begin with his strengths:  Joseph was intelligent and articulate; his father kept him from working in the field and required him to study.  He may not have been super muscular either because of this. Do what you can do well and try your best at any task given to you, any right-minded person will see your strengths when you are given various tasks. Commit to all you do and watch God bless you as he blessed Joseph.

2. The Lord is With You

And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.                                                                             And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had…”

The second point I want to make from looking at Joseph’s situation is how man elevated him based on his favor with God. This is the real version of “started from the bottom now we here!”

He went from a pit to being the head of Potiphar’s estate. You need to look at this and be encouraged! Who cares where you started, when you have God’s favor your future can look nothing like you ever imagined. A servant turned CEO – only God can do that. And if you notice in the text, it mentions three times “the Lord was with him”. Joseph did not get here because of a college degree or a business connection, he had the LORD on His side. Remember in all you do, God is with you always!

3. Make it Better

The third point I would like to make is: be a blessing wherever you go.

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.

This is amazing and inspiring! Joseph’s presence in the master’s house allowed God’s favor to overflow from Joseph to his master. Are you a benefit to your employer and household? Survey your surroundings and see are things better when you are around, do people move closer to you at work when they need help? Reflect over different places you have been, did people who interacted with you grow and learn when you came around? If so, then you God is using you to reach people. It is important to acknowledge this as God not anything you did. God will place you in different arenas to move through you to make an impact in the lives of other people. But in this you must keep your eyes open because others will take notice and they might become jealous or worse. This brings us to the next point…

4. Be aware

 “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.”

Men when you begin to accomplish things pay attention, are women looking at you or your stuff? When Joseph first came to town after surviving a 200 mile journey through the desert, Potiphar’s wife paid him no attention. She probably did not even know his name nor care. But, the brother Joseph just came up; he’s running the show now, new job, responsibilities, people working for him and now… Mrs. “Potiphar” is intrigued. She has a man, he’s the only person above Joseph, meaning he is “Top Dog” but she is not satisfied with that, she wants the new young one. (Just a little head’s up gentlemen, if your boss’ wife ever wants to sleep with you…JUST SAY NO!) Now pay close attention to verse 8:

and she said, Lie with me. But he refused…”

Gentlemen learn just because you have been made an offer DOES NOT mean you should accept. Rebuke the fear of missing out and simply say no!

5. Resist temptation

I cannot stress how important this next step is for your life: you need to resist temptation!

But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife.

I know it’s hard out here, women just throw themselves at you, ladies DM you, pictures appear on your phone without request however, it does not give you a reason to sin. Take these steps and apply them to your life when you encounter temptation.

  • Recognize your blessings. When Potiphar’s wife tempts him, Joseph immediately responded by saying: “Look, my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. There is none greater in this house than I.” He refused but he also knew it would take more than a no to resist the temptation. He had to remind himself what he had to realize he was not lacking anything. 
  • Appreciate what you have.  Joseph accepts what all the master has given him and what he did not give to him. “There is none greater in this house than I; neither has he kept back any thing from me but you.” This is the 80-20 rule Old Testament edition. Joseph says I have everything (80%) the only thing I do not have is you (20%). “I could be with you but that means I would be giving more than I would be getting.” For Joseph, it was clear, what he had was better than what he did not.
  • Prioritize your relationship with God. If you find yourself in a situation where you are willing to lose your belongings and job, think about what you have with God. Notice what Joseph says in the latter part of verse 9, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Joseph had lived life with God’s favor, that’s how he was raised differently from his brothers, was spared from death, and became a servant who rose to leadership in his master’s household. This one moment could have a negative affect on his whole future. No woman is worth losing God’s anointing on your life.

6. Be trustworthy

10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.”

This is the last point and title of the post because this is one of the qualities that makes you a good man. Joseph’s trustworthiness is highlighted in verse 10. Did you see that? Let me repeat it: “…she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. She kept trying and he said, “NO!” She tempted him everyday but he held onto his relationship with God, his job, his status and most of all his good name. Was this easy for him? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But he did it, why? I believe it was God’s favor. It was the holding onto God’s favor through this temptation of sin that allowed Him to resist this woman. The strength gained from refusing to lie with her allowed him to maintain God’s favor in the future.

Men, I encourage you to be trustworthy men. My favorite definition of trustworthy is: above suspicion. The resistance, recognition of blessings, appreciation of life and prioritization of God moves you above suspicion. You will not be questioned because of how you live your life. You know you are a good man when things go wrong or a rumor is spread about you and your wife is unbothered. This means you are above suspicion. How great would it be to live above suspicion because your character and actions have proven you are worthy of trust. Don’t you want that kind of life? A life above suspicion, a life of blessings and to know wherever you go God is blessing others just because of you. I know that is the kind of man I would want for myself, family and friends. So, I encourage and pray you are becoming a good man.

Be trustworthy, be blessed and  be a blessing!

God bless

 

Beyond Belief, Living to Serve

In all honesty, this should have been my first post but I waited because I was nervous and a tad lazy. It took a lot of time choosing the scriptures and the right translation but I knew I could not procrastinate any longer because God was calling me to write this. (It is important to click the links to read the bible narrative to understand this post in its entirety, it is long but so worth it). Let begin…

Matthew 16:13-18 tells us of the conversation Jesus had with the disciples about his identity. (Did you click the link?) Here is when I ask you:

Who do you say Jesus is?

When you define Jesus in your life, it is also important to acknowledge His father as the source and creator of the universe. (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27) This parable gives insight into doing work for Christ. Some have been blessed with many gifts and some just a few but the key is to work your gift to so it will increase. The servant with one wasted his time and his talent. There are so many things he could have done with it beside bury it. 

 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

What gift/ talent have you been given by God? How are you sharing it with others?

Luke 12:35-48 tells us to stay prepared for the Lord’s return. Identifying and sharing your gift needs to be a top priority in your life! “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

I encourage you to take time to learn about yourself. What are you naturally good at, do you receive compliments on anything you do or say? You must prepared to share your gifts because one day Jesus went seeking to be fed from a fig before it was in it’s season. Mark 11:12-14 NEWS FLASH: He can come at any time!

In John 21:15-18, Jesus visits the disciples and speaks with Peter. Here is where it is made clear that God is calling his followers to contribute to His kingdom. He gives a direct command to Peter to feed his sheep. This means we can no longer walk through life believing Jesus came, died and rose again but going to work, the store and on vacation never sharing with others who and what we know. We need to tell everyone about it, we are called to serve.

Galatians 5:13 “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”

Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

Romans 7:6 “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

John 12:26 “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Remember, serving is not in vain. “For in due season you shall reap if you faint not!” Galatians 6:9

May you live a life of serving and be blessed beyond your dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

Being a Good Man: Being Boaz

Boaz-Logo-How-We-Law

Dear Young Men,

The story of Ruth and Boaz has been one of hope for many women for years. They feel if they become the Proverbs 31 women they will find their Boaz but the problem women are having today is they are being transformed into the Proverbs 31 woman but the skills they have been equipped with are being wasted on men who are not equipped to need them. (It’s basically having the top tools in the tool box with nothing to use them on). This is because not all young men are not taught how to act to meet their Ruth. So, here are some helpful tips to transform men, young and “old-er” into the Boaz the women of the world are looking for:

  1. Boaz is a business owner

This is so important because it is the first thing we learn about Boaz after discovering he is kin to Naomi. In Ruth 2:1,3 learns about his occupation, not his shoe game or how many kids he has. His reputation preceded him and it was a good one. Young men please understand yes it is important to have a good physical appearance because physical attraction is important in any relationship but have more to offer than a closet full of shoes. His money went toward establishing a life for himself. He was the man in charge of a LEGAL business. He managed his money well, saved and was able to have employees. His business was successful and it attracted a woman looking for a man who was a leader, not a loser.Men, when women see you respected at work it is a turn on. Put your best foot forward and think about the future goals not your weekend goals

2. Boaz, a godly man

Young men notice in Ruth 2:4 Boaz approaches the field blessing those around him. He was not yelling, rapping a derogatory song nor cursing. The first words out his mouth are not even about himself but glorify God and they are a prayer to the people he has encountered. One of the worst turn-offs are men who only know how to have a conversation rapping songs and cursing. Use your words to share your intelligence, preach God’s word and draw others toward you not push them away.

3. Boaz has a trustworthy and knowledgeable circle

Ruth 2:4, 6-7 The servants greet him with a blessing. He is an emloyer who the employees greet happily, they do not dread his appearance nor look down. Co-workers, colleagues and assistants can speak volumes about your character. What do your co-workers have to say to your date, girlfriend or wife when you are not around? Are you the guy in the office leading others to be better or are you the dead weight?

Another key person is the servant of Boaz turned to (remember he owns the field so imagine the pressure on this servant when the boss comes around asking questions about the new girl he did not hire) was alert. As soon as the question was asked, Boaz had a detailed answer of what happened. Have you surrounded yourself with people who you can trust to keep an eye on your business when you are gone or do things fall a part every time you step away? Maybe it is time to find a better group of friends.

4. Boaz was protective and wise

Ruth 2:8-10 speaks of Boaz’s plan to keep Ruth protected while she worked. He is aware of what could happen to her so he establishes healthy boundaries and communicates them to her so they are in agreeance. He also speaks to the men to communicate to others how to treat Ruth. At this moment she is only his servant and yet he respects her and leads by example when he expects the other men to respect her as well.

5. Boaz acknowledges her as a child of God

Ruth 2:12 He watches how she works and has received more information about her, he realizes she has a servant’s heart. This is key because he does not use this information about her home life to take advantage of he but instead prays for the LORD to fulfill her. This is his second acknowledgement of God. The first was directed to his servants and know he is telling Ruth he sees she has been sent from God, not as a pick-up line but as a true believer whose eyes have been opened to the glory of God.

6. Boaz asks her out

Ruth 2:14 This is so important today because this is the time to social media. Men it is completely UNATTRACTIVE to give your number and/or say let’s hang out some time. When these are the words that come out of your mouths, you prove you are not a leader and do not stand up for what you want. If you are interested say I would like to get to know you more, can we go to dinner some time? A date scheduled through a verbal conversation is much more likely to start out successfully than one that occurs via text or DM. Verbal dates show the woman you are a man who is willing to assert himself. This moment is what separates the men from the boys. Be a man and ask her out, it is romantic, sweet and your voice will play over and over again in her mind. A text message is dull and akward. Step it up men, you can do it. You will be glad you did.

 

*I am fully aware there are men who have done the things I have shared are turn-offs and have girlfriends and/or wives however if you did not have to work for her odds are you will not appreciate having her. Most often the girls who are entertained by that childish immaturity become baby mamas and soon after the relationship, men are quick to label as crazy. Save yourself, her and a child the drama by stepping up to be the man God has planned for you to be and be the Boaz to one Ruth.

Counting My Blessings

john 1 16

One assignment I had at the beginning of my program was to count my blessings. I generally was a person who thanked God for things in the moment but this was the first time I had just sat and taken time to consistently thank God for all the things He had done. By thinking of the blessings God had given me, it was easy to feel joy. The goal was to get to 50 and that I did.

(I will preface the list below by sharing this was the first time I had ever sat down to write down a list of things I am thankful for. My maturity and appreciation have grown since this was originally done. Check back soon for a new “Counting My Blessings” post.)

Below is my list of what I am grateful for, this list is a lot shorter than how blessed I really am!

  1. Knowing God
  2. My family
  3. Friends
  4. Education
  5. Teach for America
  6. Sunsets
  7. Visiting the Eiffel Tower twice
  8. Relaxing on Venezuela’s beaches
  9. Passport
  10. Learning Spanish
  11. My students and their families
  12. Ability to read, write and do math
  13. BBQ
  14. Lived in NYC (Brooklyn)
  15. Be bi-cultural
  16. Trip to Brazil
  17. Athleticism
  18. Singers
  19. My church homes (here and away)
  20. Love songs
  21. Gospel Music
  22. Mobility of my limbs
  23. Skype
  24. Rolling chairs and floor mats
  25. Fluffy cold pillow
  26. NY Pepperoni Pizza
  27. Mexican/ Venezuelan Food
  28. Avocados
  29. My sorority: Alpha Xi Delta
  30. My car
  31. My home
  32. India Arie
  33. Stevie Wonder
  34. Basketball
  35. Prayer Life
  36. Jesus
  37. Inspirational Quotes
  38. People who send inspirational quotes
  39. Motivational songs
  40. Love
  41. NY transit system
  42. Sunglasses
  43. A determined mind
  44. A curious mind
  45. Passion for success
  46. Having been in love
  47. Sunday School
  48. My mom’s job
  49. Curly hair moisturizer
  50. Curly hair detangling brushes

Chronicle: Sleep

This week was a great week of dreams.  I have been going through a major life change, I gave up my life of international travel and independence to move home and eventually, enroll in school. This decision has had more of an impact on me emotionally than I expected and it was affecting my sleep. Since I have been more active and have decided to embrace this new opportunity in my life, my dreams returned to me. My lack of sleep and awkward sleep pattern blocked my head with worries and regrets. But now I am able to embrace the new changes in my life and I am filled with all the wonders of my future. Now, my thoughts encourage and inspire me instead of depressing me.  God has room now to  show to me plans for my life through my dreams. This past week, I dreamed about old friends from college, special family members and just other visions that when I reflect on them, bring me to smile.
This assignment taught me to make sleep a priority. I did not let my sleep time become based on whatever time was left after I did all my other things on my to-do list. I set a goal for myself and, no matter what I was doing or still needed to do, I was going to be sleep at 10 p.m. By doing setting a goal for myself this week, my first thoughts in the mornings were thoughts of happiness and not grouchiness due to lack of sleep. Three times this past week, I woke up before my alarm, with time to relax before jumping into the day and I woke up glad to be awake. In the past, without adequate sleep, my first thought was “No! I want to go back to sleep.” My first thoughts were not toward God and I was not thankful to be alive and awake, instead I was beginning each day complaining and grumbling. This week taught me to have a gracious attitude because blessings are upon us as soon as I wake up and it is up to me to notice how blessed I am from the beginning of my day until the end.