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She was perfect. She had the beauty, the brains, and all the friends. It seemed like everything she did and everything she touched turned to gold. Or at least it looked that way from outside looking in. She was full of herself, the teacher’s pet, the tattletale and still the most popular girl in school. She was the cheerleader, the class president, the homecoming queen and I did not like her.


I know it seems petty, shallow and immature but it’s the truth. When you are in high school, you want to belong, to fit in, to be accepted and liked for who you are, or at least I did.  I was young and dumb and didn’t realize that things were not always what they seemed.  The perfect girl? Well, she wasn’t so perfect.  Sure, she put on a great show and everyone thought the same things I did about her until our class reunions.  Her life was a mess, in shambles and falling apart. That was when we all realized she had been living behind a façade, but then again, so had we all.


Joseph’s life was much like that popular girl in high school.  Joseph was the favored son.  He was spoiled and could do no wrong in the eyes of his father, Jacob.  He was also young, immature, prideful and a tattletale which made his brothers hate him.


Here now is the story of Jacob and his family:

Joseph, when he was a young man of 17, often shepherded the flocks along with his brothers. One day as he was with Bilhah’s and Zilpah’s sons (his half-brothers), he decided to report back to their father about things they were doing wrong. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other children because he came along when he was an old man. So Israel presented Joseph with a special[a] robe he had made for him—a spectacularly colorful robe with long sleeves in it. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than the rest, they grew to hate him and couldn’t find it in themselves to speak to him without resentment or argument.

One day Joseph had a dream. When he told the dream to his brothers, they hated him even more.

Joseph: Please listen to this dream I had … (Genesis 37:2-6a The Voice)


Jacob’s action of giving Joseph a beautifully colored robe, reinforced his favoritism and added to the brother’s hatred.  Joseph was spoiled and was clearly his father’s favorite, but he was still a servant to his brothers and his father.  He was a shepherd boy serving in the fields and working like everyone else, but when he turned 17 and Jacob gifted him this coat, everything changed.


In Biblical times, the robe, coat, or mantle you wore, signified your position. This I knew, but I truthfully had never thought about it in light of Joseph’s coat until recently.  I was reading a book about Joseph called, The Dreamer by Brian Simmons, you know, the translator for The Passion Translation Bible.  This is what he said:


This was more than a pretty coat; it was the robe of a priest. Jacob was designated Joseph as the priest of his family. Before the law of Moses each family worshipped God with a chosen family as priest (i.e. Eleazar – I Sam. 7:1)”[1]


This coat would be worn by a prince or a priest and if there had been any doubt in the brothers minds as to Joseph’s position in the family, and their father’s favoritism of him, this put an end to it.


Jacob was showing to his sons that Joseph was the mantle-bearer of the inheritance, the favored son.”[2]


I am not sure how Joseph felt with living in his father’s house with the tension of his father’s love and favor and yet having his brothers all hate him.  I am sure it wasn’t easy, but he also didn’t make things better after he had two dreams and insisted on sharing them both with his family.


In Genesis 37:5 Joseph shares the dream with his brothers and Scripture says: “They hated him even more.


Joseph had to know they were angry because of the questions they asked (vs 8), but it didn’t stop him from sharing the second dream.  This time he shared the dream with his father and brothers which in turned caused not only hatred but jealousy to rise up.


As a young kid and teenager reading this story, I used to think to myself, “Joseph, just how stupid can you be?” I wondered why Joseph continued to tattletale, flaunt his favoritism and rub the brothers nose in his promotion and position in the household when it only caused the brothers feelings to intensify. I used to think Joseph was just cocky, prideful and arrogant.


However, I now wonder if maybe Joseph was trying to diffuse their anger and hatred by getting them to acknowledge he was in his rightful place. After all, God had revealed it to be so in the dreams He had given Joseph. The dreams confirmed Joseph was in his rightful place as the favored son and in the position of family priest which Jacob had bestowed upon him. I wonder if he was eagerly sharing these dreams to not rub it in their faces, but to prove to them, that he was destined to be more than a shepherd boy.


Sure, Joseph was arrogant, cocky and had a pride issue, but maybe he also felt unworthy and insecure in his position thereby he was trying to prove himself worthy.  Maybe he was trying to justify himself and his immature behaviors and actions.  Maybe he was trying to prove he didn’t deserve the hatred or jealousy his brothers had towards him.


Don't look to others for approval & validation. #God 's approval and validation is the only one that will fill the void. Share on X


I’ve been there, and maybe you have too.  God drops a big dream, something so huge in your heart and you long to share it with others so they can see it too.  Yet, you feel unworthy of the call or insecure about your identity so instead of looking to God for validation and confirmation you look towards others.  Instead of believing God and trusting what He has shown you, you make excuses and walk in doubt.  Instead of going to God, you turn to others, hoping and praying they will tell you what to do. You want them to acknowledge the call on your life.  You want their approval and validation because you feel unqualified.


Sometimes when God speaks or reveals things to us, others can’t see it or don’t handle it properly and they become jealous, angry or upset.


The truth is, God wants us to trust Him and turn to Him.  He wants us to believe Him and what He puts in our heart. He wants us to look to Him for our identity, our validation and our qualification.


#God wants us to believe Him and in the #dreams He placed in our hearts Share on X


This is where the journey begins for all of us.


God wants us to walk in humility and not allow pride or arrogance in our life. He wants us to lean on Him and turn to Him.  He doesn’t want us to get ahead of Him, but instead wants to grow and teach us.  He wants us to work through what needs to be worked through, so we fully embrace the calling He has for us.

Slow down and don't get ahead of #God Share on X


Father God help me to trust you and teach me to hear your voice when you speak.  Show me if I have pride or arrogance in my life and help me to remove it.  Show me if we have been jealous of others, and if so please forgive me of this sin.  Fill me with your humility and teach me who I am in You.  Show me the way to walk and lead me in the direction You have for me. Amen


[1] The Dreamer by Brian Simmons ©2004 page 4

[2]  The Dreamer by Brian Simmons ©2004 page 5

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Debbie Kitterman is a natural born encourager who is on fire for God. She is passionate about equipping individuals, so they can go deeper in the relationship with God, reach their God-potential and claim their Kingdom inheritance. Debbie is a wife, mother, author, pastor, speaker and the founder of “Dare 2 Hear,” a ministry that trains individuals to hear the voice of God. She travels to churches internationally and is the founder and teacher of d2htraining.com, an online course designed to equip the believer in releasing God’s heart. Her writing and teachings inspire faith and build bridges for people to believe and expect the impossible. She is also an ordained Foursquare pastor, currently serving with her husband, John, as senior pastor of Restoration Church in Lacey, Washington. Learn more at: www.debbiekitterman.com

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We live in a time, where those around us are in desperate need of a real encounter with Jesus and in need of encouragement. We are called to encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:13), and to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  My book will teach you how to step out and do just that.

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