John Maxwell Profiles in Leadership: Joseph – The Middle of the Journey

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John Maxwell This is the thirteenth lesson in bestselling author and speaker John Maxwell’s Leadership by the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, tell them to sign up to receive John’s free email devotional here.


By John C. Maxwell

Genesis 41

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Twenty-two years passed from the time Joseph received his dream until its fulfillment. As a leader in the middle of a journey, you must never give up your God-given dreams. That requires:

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  • Patience. “The chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him” (Gen. 40:23). Joseph sat in prison two more years before the butler remembered to mention him to Pharaoh. God never forgets you or your dreams. When the dream is God-given, its fulfillment is worth the wait.
  • Humility. Self-promotion can never replace divine promotion. As the favored son of Jacob, Joseph was elevated above his brothers, and his dreams didn’t help matters. But his trials taught him humility: “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer” (Gen. 41:16). Your successes come from God. Give him him the credit.
  • Gratitude. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh, saying, “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51). He named his second son Ephraim, saying, “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:52). God wants you to demonstrate trust by thanking him in spite of your circumstances. Paul said, “In everything give thanks” (1 Thess. 5:18)—in everything, not for everything. When you are grateful, fear disappears and faith appears.

Often as leaders we look forward to the end of the journey, when we will have accomplished our goals. But we must remember to learn and grow in the middle of the journey. By putting the disciplines of patience, humility, and gratitude into practice, you will be that much closer to being the leader God called you to be.

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The above is adapted from The Maxwell Leadership Bible / Third Edition by John C. Maxwell (@JohnCMaxwell). Copyright © 2002, 2007, 2018 by Maxwell Motivation, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.


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