As I’m climbing the mountain to success, I always think about “what can I do to help someone who’s in my shoes?” You hear all the time of people who become successful but act as they have never been broke before. They become arrogant and rude to people who are “lower class.” It’s those same people you might look down upon who will most likely help you when you’re in need.
An example in the Bible of someone forgetting where they came from is the children of Isreal. The children of Isreal were slaves before Moses took them under his wing, but once they got in the wilderness and had access to gold, they became idolatries. The Israelites were abusing their power onto themselves, and it caused God to delay their journey from 11 days to 40 years. It’s easy to let the pain of our past make us hardhearted and resentful towards others, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
His brothers enslaved Joseph; he faced many unfair circumstances in his life before becoming King of Isreal in his later stage in life. Joseph could have been bitter and mad at the world. He could have mistreated his brother as they mistreated him, but instead, he forgave them and restored their family.
But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. ‘Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,’ they said. So they sent this message to Joseph: ‘Before your father died, he instructed us to say to you: “Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you – for their sin in treating you so cruelly.” So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.’ When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. ‘Look, we are your slaves!’ they said. But Joseph replied, ‘Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.’ So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.”
– Genesis 50:15-21 [NLT]
You may not have had the best circumstances happen to you, but God can turn your mess into a message. Not everyone had a privileged life, but God doesn’t need us to have rich parents. He just wants our obedience to Him.