A Weeping Leader!
Joseph led with what I will label the HGC factor: humility, grace, and confidence!
He was humble enough to serve others though he had been placed in a high position.
He had enough grace to forgive his brothers who hurt him.
He led with confidence whether he was a jail keeper or a ruler over Egypt.
And over the course of eight chapters in Genesis we read Joseph wept at least eight times.
1) “Now he turned away from them and began to weep. When he regained his composure, he spoke to them again. . . (Gen. 42:24).” Isn’t it true that sometimes when we weep it takes a while to regain our composure . . . unless we’re faking it!
2) “Then Joseph hurried from the room because he was overcome with emotion for his brother. He went into his private room, where he broke down and wept (Gen. 43:30).” That’s what I’m talking about – loving your siblings (blood and in Christ) that much! Jesus asked in Matthew 12:48, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” “Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother (Matthew 12:49-50)!”
3) “Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh’s palace (Gen. 45:2).” Yes! When the truth finally comes out and we don’t have to hold back the tears.
4) “Weeping with joy, he embraced Benjamin, and Benjamin did the same (Gen. 45:14).” We all know about tears of joy, don’t we?
5) “Then Joseph kissed each of his brothers and wept over them, and after that they began talking freely with him (Gen. 45:15).” Unbiased tears – freedom at last!
6) “Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father, Jacob. When Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept, holding him for a long time (Gen. 46:29).” I don’t think Joseph was thinking about his special coat.
7) “Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him (Gen. 50:1).” Loss . . . we can relate!
8) “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 (Gen. 50:16-17).” Repentance and grace!
Perhaps Joseph’s greatest strength was what the world may label as weak emotion: his weeping. Joseph wept at reunions, reconciliation, and loss. Each time he wept it had to do with relationships and there was definitely a time he didn’t hide it (i.e., “He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him…” and this was after he had sent them out of the room.).
I can relate to Joseph – not that I’m as humble, grace-filled, or confident; but, I tend to cry over others reuniting even when it has nothing to do with me. Whether it’s a returning soldier meeting his newborn baby, a birth mom meeting her adopted child, or a prodigal coming home to his father, I’m all tears.
And; when it comes to reconciliation, I think about why Jesus came to earth in the first place. What He did is such a beautiful thing. I wept when I was reconciled to God and I imagine I will weep when I meet Jesus face to face.
Weeping is not a weakness in leaders, it is a strength! A strong leader is relational!