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Good Guys Can Finish First

There is a stigmatism that exists today about good or nice people. During a press conference in 1946, Brooklyn Dodger manager Leo Durocher was asked to comment about having too many nice guys on his ball club. Durocher replied, “It’s not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts.” One reporter only wrote down what he wanted to hear, “nice guys finish last.” Thus, this aphorism was born.

So Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this [a man equal to Joseph], in whom is the divine spirit [of God]?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since [your] God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and clear-headed and wise as you are, Genesis 41:38-39. 

At the height of the Egyptian Empire, Pharaohs reigned. During one of the worst famines in recorded history, Pharaoh searched for a fellow Egyptian to serve in his cabinet. Despite numerous interviews, one Jew stood head and shoulders above the rest. According to Pharaoh, Joseph was a nice guy who was in tune with God, possessing supernatural wisdom. Thus, Joseph went from a slave in prison to second in command, overseeing years of harvest to prepare for the impending drought.

You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word and pay respect [to you with reverence, submission, and obedience]; only in [matters of] the throne will I be greater than you [in Egypt],” Genesis 41:40.

In the 1991 film the Last Boy Scout, Bruce Willis plays an imperfect detective. Despite his flaws, Willis’ character represents one of the last good cops on the force who hasn’t sold his soul, taking money to look the other way. From a biblical perspective, there is no such thing as a nice guy. The apostle Paul reminds the church in Rome that there is no one perfect, not even one, Romans 3:10-12. Yet, this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want individuals to strive for perfection, Matthew 5:48. Those who are consistent, disciplined and eager to seek first God’s righteous, you too can become a good guy like Joseph who was a bright light in a dark world.

by Jay Mankus

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