Christmas is over and trees have been chucked to the curb; the giant ball already dropped in New York City to usher in the new year; many are struggling to stick to their resolutions just days after making them; my wife and daughter are scrambling to catch up on Hallmark Christmas movies that take up 90% of our DVR; and I’m still thinking about one short, little verse about Joseph that is oftentimes overlooked during the Christmas season.
Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus doesn’t receive as much attention as Mary—which explains why Matthew 1:19 is usually skimmed over to get to the good stuff. It’s also the reason why I’m currently writing a song called, Joseph Did You Know.
Okay, not really.
But I’m not kidding when I say that one of my personal resolutions for 2018 is to respond to adversity, disloyalty, and wrongdoing just like Joseph did.
Okay, let’s check out the verse from Matthew 1:19 (NLT) that I’m talking about:
Joseph, to whom she (Mary) was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.
Before Joseph was visited and talked off the ledge by an angel—he was ready to bail on Mary. Why? Because she was pregnant. His fiancé was pregnant—and they hadn’t slept together yet. He didn’t need to make a guest appearance on The Maury Povich Show to prove to the world he wasn’t the dad. He knew.
The portion of the Christmas story that is oftentimes overlooked is how Joseph responded to his emotions before the angel came to him in a dream. Matthew tells us that Joseph didn’t want to disgrace Mary publicly and decided to break off the engagement quietly.
It’s no wonder he was called a righteous man…and he was more righteous than me.
Notice that he didn’t go straight to Facebook to blast Mary!
Had Joseph reacted hastily instead of responding quietly, he would have been the one with egg on his face.
The book of Proverbs is packed full of preventative-egg-on-face wisdom—and I would rather drink egg nog instead of having egg on my face—so here are some passages that I will be revisiting often during the year. I want to encourage you to read them and do the same—and by doing so, you will become healthier spiritually and avoid unwarranted drama.
“Short-tempered people do foolish things.” ~Proverbs 14:17
“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” ~Proverbs 19:11
“Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” ~Proverbs 21:23
“Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.” ~Proverbs 13:16
Even James—the brother of Jesus—gets in some words of wisdom that we should abide by.
“You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” ~James 1:19
If the majority of your social media posts are directed at your ex or somebody who hurt you, they’re winning.
Take the high-road.
Be like Joe.
Feel free to share this.