Not What You See

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“Now there arose a new king over Egypt. He knew nothing about Yosef (Joseph) but said to his people, ‘Look, the descendants of Isra’el have become a people too numerous and powerful for us.

Come, let’s use wisdom in dealing with them. Otherwise, they’ll continue to multiply; and in the event of war they might ally themselves with our enemies, fight against us and leave the land altogether.’ So they put slavemasters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built for Pharaoh the storage cities of Pitom and Ra‘amses. But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, until the Egyptians came to dread the people of Isra’el and worked them relentlessly, making their lives bitter with hard labor — digging clay, making bricks, all kinds of field work; and in all this toil they were shown no mercy.” Exodus 1:8-14

Sometimes we may find ourselves being oppressed or oppressing others due to a lack of understanding. Yosef (Joseph) did a great service for Egypt and helped protect the Egyptians from famine by letting the king know it was coming in advance and collecting enough food during the years of plenty to last during the years of famine when there wasn’t enough. Because of the insight and wisdom that God had given him he was highly honored in the country and his family was allowed to live there as well. But the new king judged the people of Israel harshly because of their prosperity, since he didn’t understand their history, which meant he could not judge their current situation accurately.

It is very easy for us to look at others who seems successful and envy them and wish their lives were harder because they intimidate us, when we have no idea what they went through to get to that point. Yosef (Joseph) was sold as a slave by his own family, was falsely accused and sent to jail, and was then forgotten for some time by the person who he helped in jail. He could have hated the people of Egypt and let them starve after so many people let him down, but instead he decided to help and share the information that he had.

Others may have lived most of their lives in suffering and are finally seeing some rewards in life for their good deeds and yet, because we don’t know what they went through and what they did to get to where they are now in life, we may treat them harshly based on assumptions that they don’t care about others. Get to know people and understand their full story, don’t just judge and treat others rudely based on what you see or envy. If you know what others lived through you might not envy them as much.

Picture originally found here

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