Bad to Worse: “Come to bed with me!”

“Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’

“But he refused. ‘With me in charge,’ he told her, ‘my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?’ ” (Genesis 39:6-9)

btw_350Is this story really about temptation? Teachers the world over (including me) have used Mrs. Potiphar’s attempted seduction of Joseph to talk about sexual temptation and how to deal with it. (Hint: Say no and run!) But honestly, we don’t even know if Joseph was attracted to Mrs. Potiphar in the first place. She might have been way older than him or, you know, icky.

For him, the issue wasn’t sex, at all. The reason he gave for turning her down had to do with integrity, not saving himself for marriage. Joseph saw his position in Potiphar’s house both as a gift from God and something he had earned with lots of hard work. He refused to take advantage of his master’s trust or God’s grace by doing something cheap, easy, and wrong.

I’m afraid some of us who would never think its okay to have sex outside of marriage might not be so careful about violating our integrity in other ways. Lie to your boss? Your parents? Steal a little time or money because you “earned” it? Joseph refused to compromise.

Think: Do you ever think about your position in your family or a job as a gift from God? What are some other ways we can misuse the positions God sets us in?

Pray: Ask God to help you to be as stubborn about integrity as Joseph was.

Do: Make a quick list of 5 “trust relationships” you have that you could potentially abuse to get something you want without the other person maybe finding out.