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Aware Enough to Care

Daily Reading: Genesis 40

Scripture Focus: When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh's officers who were with him in custody in his master's house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” (Genesis 40.6-7)

Devotional Thought: When it comes to people's feelings, I am one of the least observant males on the planet. My wife can tell what people are thinking and how they are feeling just by walking into a room. Me? I'm clueless. "Typical male" right? Well, not according to what I read in Genesis 40. A couple of Joseph's prison mates - the cupbearer and the baker to Pharaoh - were troubled one morning. Joseph picked up on their mood right away. "Why are your faces downcast today?"

Joseph listened intently to their responses and was able - with the help of the Holy Spirit - to give them answers to their questions. One wasn't a particularly happy response, but it proved to be accurate none-the-less. Because of his sensitivity, Joseph was able to help them understand life, and in the process he gave glory to his God.

Sadly, Joseph's sensitivity is not often duplicated. How often are we guilty of hurrying through life, bustling from one task to the next, without taking time to notice the people around us? They're troubled. It's written all over them if we would only take time to see. And then if we have courage and concern enough to inquire, we may find that - like Joseph - we can provide encouragement to those who are hurting. And in the process, we will give glory to God.

This is not to say that we should always be sharing our superior wisdom. The Bible says we should be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1.19). As we have all heard, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason! Today, just remember to - like Joseph - be aware enough to care.

Prayer: Father, I know that today I will encounter people who are discouraged and downcast. Help me to spread the love, the hope, the peace of Jesus wherever I go. In the process, may you be praised! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; 2 the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. 3 The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. 4 As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you!" 5 My enemies say of me in malice, "When will he die, and his name perish?" 6 And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. 7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. 8 They say, "A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies." 9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. (Psalms 41:1-9)

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