There are certain character traits that Joseph exhibited as a successful youth. First of all, in verse 2 we notice that Joseph sent a bad report about his brothers to their father. He was just a seventeen-year-old. Together with his brothers who were sons of Bilhah (Dan and Naphtali) and Zilpah (Gad and Asher), they were tending their father’s flock on the field. Bible is silent on what actually happened while they sent the animals for grazing. The only thing we know is that his brothers did something untoward which he could not keep silent about. Therefore, he reported it to their father. This act was not aimed at gaining his father’s favour but to expose the sins of his brothers. We are not clear whether Jacob acted on this report or not. Furthermore, a careful study of verses 12-24 reveals other character traits such as respectfulness, obedience and the spirit of service in Joseph. Also he was humble, trustworthy and persevered in the things he did.
As successful youth we should be very uncomfortable with sin and every form of wayward lifestyle. We should have the urge to expose every sinful act rather than look on unconcerned. Taking action against acts of evil whether directly or indirectly depends on the situation. Thus we must use the appropriate channel in addressing issues so that the wrong things can be corrected. It is the responsibility of the head of the institution where you find yourself to correct wrong and it is your responsibility to make him know what needs to be addressed. It should never be our aim to report somebody in order to make him/ her appear bad so that we may be preferred over that person. Destroying another person’s image just for personal interest is evil. You may be promoted because of that but that same act will bring you down.