Bringing the Text to Life

Losing Control Genesis 45:1-15

Losing Control

Unleashing fury is one option. How do we choose grace instead?

At a Glance

This material deals with the human propensity for losing control of one's emotions. This may happen in a fit of anger, a momentary lapse of judgment, or at a time of severe emotional stress. The judicial system has a juridical category called "crimes of passion." In an era of instant media, the missteps of the rich and famous quickly go viral on YouTube and Facebook. We move from this discussion to a biblical character about whom the Bible notes that he "could no longer control himself" (Genesis 45:1 NIV). But in Joseph's case, this was a good thing.

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's gospel reading, see "Change Your Mind, but Keep the Change," August 15, 1993, at

Can you say chutzpah? How about arrogance? Or is ignorance a more appropriate word for people behaving badly? Alec Baldwin leaves scathing telephone messages on the answering machine for his young daughter; Charlie Sheen trashes hotel rooms in a drinking spree; and even perky Katie...

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