31. DO NOT DEPRIVE PEOPLE OF THE BLESSING OF GIVING.
Genesis 33:8-11 - "Then Esau said, 'What do you mean by all this company which I met?' And he said, 'These are to find favor in the sight of my lord.' But Esau said, 'I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.' And Jacob said, 'No, please, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present from my hand, inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.' So he urged him, and he took it."
Esau had plenty and so did Jacob. Jacob wanted to give a gift to his brother. Esau was reluctant but finally accepted. It is truly more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Thus, if someone wants to give you something, do the best you can to receive it graciously--even if you don't need it. Don't deprive someone of the blessing that is found in being kind or generous.
32. A GOOD LEADER WILL NOT OVERDRIVE.
Genesis 33:13,14 - "But Jacob said to him, 'My Lord knows that the children are weak, and the flocks and herds which are nursing are with me. And if the men should drive them hard one day, all the flock will die. Please let my lord go on ahead before his servant. I will lead on slowly at a pace which the livestock that go before me, and the children, are able to endure...'"
Leaders must be aware of the potential of driving their followers too hard (and this can happen either intentionally or unintentionally). Good leaders will lead with all patience and longsuffering (cf. II Tim. 4:2), for the good of those they lead. This is not to say that good leaders will never challenge or even rebuke when necessary, but they must avoid overdriving. As is so often the case, balance is the key here.
33. FAVORITISM WITHIN A FAMILY IS ALWAYS TROUBLESOME.
Genesis 37:3 - "Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors."
A special coat and preferential treatment? Couldn't Jacob see the foolishness of such and the effect it had on the brothers? The family dynamic Jacob created led to a lot of pain when he lost Joseph for twenty years.
34. THE WISE WILL AVOID TEMPTING SITUATIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
Genesis 39:7-10 - "And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me.' But he refused and said to his master's wife: 'Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her."
Joseph couldn't completely avoid her, but he did his best to stay away. Perhaps the best way to keep from yielding to temptation is to simply avoid it as much as possible. Don't go to places where you are likely to be drawn into sin. What a lesson for us today! And where we are unable to avoid tempting situations, we must be strong and resist the devil's snares (cf. James 4:7).