Joseph found himself in a situation that many adolescent boys have dreamed about. A beautiful woman seduces you. No one is around. You can have what you want and no one will ever know. What would you do if you were in that situation?
Unfortunately, many of us would not have behaved as Joseph did. Our natural tendency is to flirt around with these situations. We would tend to stop and chat with Potiphar’s wife. “What will a little small talk hurt”, we might ask ourselves. Then the next day we stop for lunch. In our minds we play out the scenario and allow desire to grow. We dance on the line and see how much pleasure we can get from the scenario without crossing over it.
Not Joseph. He said, “NO!” He didn’t just say no with his body, he said “no” with his actions. When she grabbed his cloak, he bolted for the door. When it came to doing what is right, Joseph made it a black and white issue. He didn’t want to have anything to do with that scenario…and he went to prison for it.
We can learn two things from this:
- When temptation presents itself…run away, full steam! Paul told Timothy to flee youthful lust. Solomon told his sons to flee from the adulteress and the seductress. As followers of Christ we don’t have time to mess around with sin. Check your heart right now and ask if you are cherishing any desires in your thought life that could be the seeds of sin. If you are, do a “thoughtectomy” and rip those things out of your mind and heart right now. Ask God to remove the cherished seductions (whatever they may be) and replace them with the clear word of His truth.
- Doing the right thing doesn’t always pay. Joseph was willing to go to prison rather than violate a right relationship with God. God never promised us comfort in life. He promised us joy and abundant living in His Kingdom. As a Christian this should be our motto, “I’d rather spend the rest of my life being tortured in a dungeon than to offend the holy relationship I have with my Heavenly Father.”