Pareto Principle: a prediction that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.
- 80% of work is completed by 20% of your team
- 80% of sales come from 20% of your clients
- 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers
Today we unpack another principle found in Genesis Chapter 50. It’s the 50/20 rule. Genesis 50:20: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Brief review of what led up to Joseph’s words in Genesis 50:20:
- Joseph was his father Jacob’s favorite son, much to the annoyance of his older brothers.
- Joseph had dreams which didn’t help his brothers feel any better about him.
- Joseph ended up in Egypt in Potiphar’s house. He excelled there and was put in charge of the entire operation. Life was good until his boss’ wife tried to seduce him.
- While in prison, Joseph excelled and once more was put in charge.
- While the VP of Egypt, God showed Joseph a long-term famine was on the way, and he made preparations to store enough grain to last throughout the food shortage. His brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. Their trip led to a tearful reunion with Joseph.
Here’s my paraphrase of Genesis 50:20 – God can transform our brokenness and pain into something life-giving and good—if we cooperate with Him.
Lead pastoring is the ultimate bench vise.
And it can make a leader wonder, is this squeezing random, or does God have a purpose in it? How can God bring anything good out of the challenges we’re facing?
1. Tell ourselves that God is with us when our circumstances suggest otherwise
In Genesis chapter 39, the phrase, “The Lord was with Joseph” appears 4 times..
2. Maintain integrity when it would be easy not to
Joseph refused the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife. He could have told himself as Mrs. Potiphar threw herself at him, “God I’ve had it rough. I’m entitled!”
3. Believe our steps are ordered by God
When Joseph’s brothers came to him for food, they didn’t recognize him until revealed himself. He said to them, “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.”
4. Forgive those who’ve hurt you
Bitterness imprisons us in our pain. Forgiveness propels us toward healing
Joseph’s brokenness was transformed into his legacy . . . the saving of many lives.