Bad to Worse: Relentless Seduction

“And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘Come to bed with me!’ But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.” (Genesis 39:10-12)

Joseph faced one of the first documented cases of sexual harassment in the workplace. His boss’ wife would not let go of her lust for this “well-built and handsome” foreigner – and he had to be around her every day! He was running Potiphar’s estate, after all, and she lived there.

btw_350We still don’t really know if Joseph was fighting any real temptation or if he was repulsed by the woman. We do know he absolutely refused to violate Potiphar’s trust or God’s blessing by doing such a “wicked thing.”

Notice his strategy for avoiding sin (and Mrs. Potiphar): 1) Don’t linger; Joseph never spent any more time than was absolutely necessary around the opportunity to sin. 2) Don’t be alone with the temptation/opportunity. 3) Be willing to sacrifice something you care about to avoid doing wrong. (Joseph sacrificed his coat.) 4) Run! Don’t protect your dignity when your integrity is on the line.

Think: How could you use Joseph’s strategy to deal with some temptation/seduction in your own life?

Pray: Ask God to help you take opportunities to sin as seriously as Joseph did here.

Do: Write out the 4 steps listed above for dealing with temptation (and hide the list somewhere you’ll find it again): 1) Don’t linger. 2) Don’t be alone with it. 3) Be ready to sacrifice something good to do what’s best. 4) Run!