Gleanings – Forgotten? So What!

Genesis 40:1-23

“Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

Ouch. Forgotten by the butler?  What does that say about Joseph?

You will recall the Pharaoh’s butler was in jail. He had a dream that Joseph was glad to interpret. And the dream revealed good news. The butler would be restored to his position in Pharaoh’s palace. For his kindness Joseph asked only that he be remembered before Pharaoh. But the butler did not remember. He forgot Joseph.

Being forgotten, it is the risk we followers of Jesus run. We are meant to love well and move on. We do not love with strings attached. We do not love for a quid pro quo, the expectation of something of equal value in return. There is no harm in hoping to be remembered but in the end we, like God and by His grace, love unconditionally. We just love.

The more we become like Jesus the more we can say to someone, “You can’t do anything to make me love you more and you can’t do anything to make me love you less. I just love you.”

This is what I want my children to hear. My love for them is not dependent upon their good behavior or their bad. If they believe that it is dependent (upon anything), love becomes unreliable. “I am loved some days and not others,” they will think. “I am only truly loved when I perform well,” they will conclude.

By the way, that will lead to a world of performing people, posers attempting to be something they are not. Why? Because they are created for love and will work the system , however broken, to get it. And it will lead to a volatile home, children riding a roller coaster of the always changing environment around them.

Our children need a foundation upon which they can rely. “I am loved. Come hell or high water, I am loved.” It does not really matter if they remember where they learned this. On its own it will rock their world.

What does being forgotten by the butler say about Joseph? Nothing! Not one thing. An act of grace changes the world whether it is remembered or not.

3 Responses to “Gleanings – Forgotten? So What!”

  • Robert Says:

    Plan to use this on our own children, John. Thanks for this.

  • Doug Warren Says:

    John: That is the most meaningful prose I have read in many weeks. I have two high achieving, nay, stratospherically high achieving sons. It is necessary to be reminded that although I know I love them unconditionally I need to constantly affirm to them that they are loved unconditionally. In my limited experience with your words, you are never better than when you are writing about parenting. It is as Dr. Richard Selzer says in Confessions of a Knife; ” Why would a surgeon write? I think it is because he wants to heal.” Must be the same with a Priest.

  • Cathy Martin Says:

    I love this. Probably because I needed to hear it. And, for the record, you are still loved (and not forgotten) in the Martin house.

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