The Character of a leader: Consistency and Faithfulness

God gave Joseph a promise of leadership, and for 12 years he suffered rejection, enslavement, imprisonment, false accusation and betrayal. Yet his consistency and faithfulness with God’s favor on his life caused him to rise from every setback until God could entrust him with the leadership and preservation of millions.

Learn as Danelle Esterhuizen shares how to grow in consistency and faithfulness as a leader (


Genesis 39:1-12 [After Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh]

3  His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. 4  So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had…

Genesis 39:20-23 [Joseph in prison]

20  And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21  But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22  And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23  The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Genesis 41:39-41 [Joseph appointed Prime Minister of Egypt]

39  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40  You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” 41  And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt… 44  I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.”

Observations and reflection questions

For greater context read Joseph’s story in Genesis 37-42.  The three Texts quoted above span about 12 years of Joseph’s life.

  1. Consider the consistency of Joseph’s character in three very different settings, each with similar results. To what does the Scripture attribute Joseph’s leadership success in each of these settings?
    • In Potiphar’s house
    • In Prison
    • In Pharaoh’s household [use your knowledge of the greater history here…]
    • What does this teach you about consistency and faithfulness in the character of a leader?
  2. Consider the background of suffering: how did Joseph…
    • …end up in Potiphar’s house?
    • …end up in Prison?
    • …remain so long in Prison before appearing before Pharaoh?
    • What does this teach you about faithfulness in the character of a leader, especially regarding unfair and unpleasant times?
  3. Consider the special mention of God’s activity in the life of Joseph in each of these texts: what was God doing in and through Joseph’s life…
    • …while enslaved in Potiphar’s house?
    • …while unfairly imprisoned?
    • …while governing Egypt?
    • What does this suggest about God’s plan and purpose with Joseph’s life in and through these 12 years?

Personal reflection and Application questions

In two dreams God revealed Joseph’s future leadership; he told his family was sold into slavery by his brothers. For 12 years thereafter Joseph suffered slavery and imprisonment, false accusation and betrayal. However, Joseph’s consistency and faithfulness made him reign in every situation, and paved the way for his ultimate life purpose.  He was faithful over little, and God appointed him over much. (cf Matthew 25:23)

  1. Joseph was a slave and prisoner; he had no control over his career or destiny.
  • How consistent and faithful have you been with the responsibilities given to you?
  1. Joseph was a man of integrity; in spite of the abuse and betrayal of his brothers, Potiphar’s wife and Pharaoh’s cup bearer, he remained consistent and faithful with what was entrusted to him.
  • How have you been treated unfairly in spite of integrity and faithfulness you have shown?
  • How consistent and faithful have you been in spite of unfair treatment?
  • Joseph cleared his heart from bitterness towards his brothers and the rest (see Gen 45:5ff); whom should you still forgive for their abuse and unfair treatment of you?
  1. God is looking for consistence and faithful where you are now – in preparation for your promotion and his greater entrustment. Of what is the Spirit convicting you with regards to consistency and faithfulness? Pray about it and share that with a prayer friend.


Thank God for your growth in faithfulness and constancy, ask him for grace to grow in greater consistency and faithfulness so you may serve and represent him better.