• Aaron Burke
The literal definition of an unfair advantage is some characteristic you possess or some event that has happened to you that gives you a better chance at success – something that other people don’t have, so it seems unfair to them.
I say that to introduce you to a man for whom many would have said life was unfair, but his response turned these circumstances into his unfair advantage, and it took him all the way to the top. As you may have guessed by now, his name is Joseph.
The Story of Joseph
Joseph was one of the twelve sons of a man named Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel. In the Bible, we are introduced to Joseph and his unfair advantage in the book of Genesis: “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more” (Genesis 37:5).
Joseph was excited about the dream God had given him, but when he told his brothers about it, they became his critics. The reality is anytime you want to do something great for God, you are going to deal with rejection, betrayal, and haters.
It helps to remember that the things, people, and events that have been the most unfair are your advantage.
Unfair Advantage #1: Rejection
I know it’s not what you want to hear, but when you set out to accomplish something, you are always going to encounter naysayers who have an opinion of how you should live. This is actually a good thing, because man’s rejection moves you in God’s direction.
You have to embrace rejection, even when it hurts. You may find yourself in what feels like a pit, but the pit is only part of your story, not the end of your story. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). It might be days, months or years later, but you will look back and see how that rejection was God’s way of moving you in the right direction – a direction toward your destiny.
Unfair Advantage #2: Hard Work
(Genesis 39:3-4): “When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.”
No one is going to just hand you greatness. Show up early. Stay late. Go above and beyond. Sometimes, the amount of hard work feels unfair and unseen, but when no one else sees or notices, God does. If you notice Him, this gives you an unfair advantage.
Unfair Advantage #3: Having Integrity
(Genesis 39:6-8, 12): “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he refused… She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.”
Here, we see Joseph trying to honor God and a woman trying to tempt and distract him. Joseph faced unfair temptation, but it gave him an advantage in building his character.
There is nothing sadder than the overwhelming number of marriages that have collapsed, the businesses that have gone under, and the families that have fallen apart because when temptation came, it was embraced rather than fled from.
Joseph could have had the time of his life for those few minutes, but it would have destroyed the dream that God had for him. Keep your integrity, and watch it move you toward your destiny.
Turning the Unfair to Your Advantage
The rejection will make you want to quit, but don’t quit; it’s an advantage for you. The hard work is overwhelming, but don’t quit; it’s an unfair advantage you will have. The temptation is tough, but don’t give in and quit; you will have an unfair advantage. The waiting season is discouraging, but don’t quit; you will have an unfair advantage.