Have you ever suffered for doing the right thing? Or maybe you just felt that life was unfair. In chapter three of The Story, Joseph was sold into slavery because his brothers hated him for being their father’s favorite son. That wasn’t fair. Then later he is unjustly imprisoned for doing the right thing, knowing that if he would have given in to Potiphar’s wife that it would have been a wicked thing to do to his boss and a sin against God, and that certainly doesn’t sound very fair.
Down here in the lower story things can be and are unfair. Not everything we do is going to be well received or appreciated even if we are doing the right thing. Sometimes it is because we are doing the right thing that we are treated unfairly. The thing is that we still need to be doing the next right thing. Joseph understood something that we often forget in times of trouble, God was always with him. When sold into slavery by his brothers we are told that “The Lord was with Joseph” (Genesis 39:2) and later when he was put into prison it says, “The Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:21).
I believe another important thing to remember is that Joseph was always with God. He could have been an angry, embittered, vengeful man but instead he chose to do the right thing and to do good and glorify God. I am not saying that there weren’t times when Joseph may have felt alone and abandoned or times when he asked himself, “Why me?” What I am suggesting is that instead of whining about it, he gave it over to God. He trusted that God could and would use him and any situation for good. Which is exactly what he would tell his brothers later in the story in Genesis 50:19-20. Although Joseph had to live in the lower story, he would do the next right thing because he could see how it was part of God’s upper story.
When confronted with choices sometimes we can react on impulse and hope it was the right thing to do. At other times, we may weigh our options but chose to do what will be most acceptable to other lower story dwellers and hope that God will be good with our choice. Or we can do what Joseph did and think about what God wants and to do the next right thing.