Summary: The way we define ourselves in the moment reflects our awareness of God's activity in our lives.

20140817 10th Sunday after Pentecost A

Title: Defining Your Moments (The moment should not define you… you define your moments.)

Text: Genesis 45:1-15

The way we see ourselves in the moment defines our awareness of God’s activity in our lives.


A humblebrag is false humility couched in self-deprecation that is designed to remind everyone else that your life is more awesome that everyone else’s.

Some humblebrags are pretty out there. Singer and TV personality Tila Tequilla texted her followers: “Man this is so unfair! Why didn’t the Lamborgini dealer tell me I’d get pulled over at least once a week in this car? Time to get a Corolla lol!”

Actor David Hasselhoff once tweeted, “It’s an evening with Hoff! Britain’s Got Talent followed by my life story on Piers Morgan. Hopefully you won’t get sick of me!”

One nationally known pastor tweeted, “I’m truly humbled by you who follow my Tweets. I pray they enrich your life and strengthen your ministry. God bless all 200,000 of you!” Rick Warren

Some people don’t bother to be subtle. Many athletes over the years have bragged about their athleticism… Ali readily comes to mind. He used to posture and parade about shouting, “I am the greatest!” I have since learned that baseball great Dizzy Dean us credited with saying, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.”

The point we might make as we set the stage for today’s message is that “it is easy to buy into the myth of one’s own importance, even if you want to do it subtly.” (Homiletics, Volume 26, Number 4, pp. 553-54)

Joseph was a young man who seemed to buy into the myth of his own importance. His first life lesson initially escaped him.

I. Be discerning, Genesis 37:1-36; Proverbs 15:1, 16:24; I Timothy 4:12 and Colossians 4:6

Paul wrote this to another young man giving him some guidance that might have been helpful to Joseph. “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, your purity.” I Timothy 4:12

British Chef Jamie Oliver is planning to open a restaurant in Brazil. When he appeared on a Brazilian TV show in July he was somewhat south of being discerning. On the show he was offered a tray of Brazilian confections, including coconut quindims and supersweet chocolate brigaderios. He tasted a few, made a horrible face, and pronounced them “(expletive deleted) horrible.” Brazilians were outraged and had plenty to say about what they describe as vile British cooking, especially British deserts and particularly those made by Jamie Oliver. It was your basic public debacle and no amount of apologizing and explaining was going to make their outrage go away.

Columnist Tony Goes of Sao Paulo wrote, “We Brazilians had just gotten over our thumping at the World Cup. To have our national candy cursed at was too much to take.” (Tony Goes, Don’t dare diss our candies, The Week, August 15, 2014, p. 13)

What kind of arrogance does it take to be that socially klutzy, insensitive, undiscerning and insulting?

I wonder if the outrage of Joseph’s brothers was something akin to the outrage of the Brazilians toward Chef Jamie Oliver.

Joseph was: (Elaborate on each…)

The “baby of the family.”

A tattletale

The favorite son with a snazzy new coat

A dreamer

The master of youthful indiscretion

Dreams were really quite important events in Joseph’s life. They are a window into his future… the only problem was that he did not have the sense to keep it too himself. But how many kids have that kind of discernment?

Even as a young man Joseph had a proclivity for dreams… he was a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams. As both a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams it is apparent that God was at work in his life. Initially his dreams were visions of things to come and then as an interpreter of dreams he was elevated to a position of power which enabled him to save a nation as well as his estranged family.

His early dreams did not make sense until the end of the story. The dreams he described to his brothers and his parents were not to be immediately realized. Rather there was quite the time lapse between his first dreams and the unfolding of those dreams.

Joseph’s youthful indiscretion, lack of discernment and absence of emotional intelligence, i.e., common sense defined who he was and how he would be regarded by others. His brothers hated him!

One of the life lessons we can learn from Joseph is the art of discernment or discretion… of thinking before we speak. Our either endear us to people or alienates us from people.

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