“No one in this house is greater than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. So how could I do such a great evil and sin against God? -Genesis 39:9
The story of Joseph from the Old Testament is fairly familiar to most of us. We may recall that he was the 11th son of Jacob, who was sold by his brothers into slavery and wound up as a steward over the household of an official named Potiphar. Joseph eventually winds up attracting attention from Potiphar’s wife, and when he refuses her, she has him imprisoned. While we may be familiar with the story, I think we sometimes forget just how high a level of integrity Joseph really possessed.
It would have been very simple for him to give into temptation when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. But because he lived a life of intentional integrity he was able to resist. Joseph had made up his mind that he would not disobey his master or sin against God before the temptation came. Thus, when it did, he was able to stand firm in his convictions.
In today’s world, we don’t have to look for temptations. They’re always around us. Whether we are athletes, coaches, teachers, parents, volunteers or fans, we are all bombarded by attacks from the enemy, especially in the world of sports. We are tempted to cheat, lie, cut corners, act out in aggression, take drugs, swear, and so much more. It’s definitely not an easy world in which to live a Christ-like lifestyle. On the field and off, Satan knows the areas of our lives in which we are most vulnerable.
In order to sidestep the temptations when they come, we need to be like Joseph and know ahead of time what we will do. We can't wait until the temptation occurs to decide how we will respond. We must make up our minds now and live with intentional integrity so that each time we are tempted, our response will flow naturally from within us—from a mind that already has been made up and decided to follow Christ.
In every game and every practice, there will be temptation to do the wrong thing. While it may seem easy to give in at those moments, we can choose to honor and glorify God by doing the right thing instead, but only if we have a firm foundation in the principles of God's Word and know how we can and should react. Today, make your integrity intentional and determine now to obey Christ. That way, when temptation comes, you’ll be ready to resist.
- Is my integrity intentional? Do I often fall into temptation because I’m not prepared for it when it comes?
- What does it mean to live with intentional integrity?
- How can I prepare to resist temptation before it comes?
- What specific areas of temptation cause me the greatest struggle? What verses from God’s Word can I memorize that will prepare me to resist?
Genesis 39 Daniel 3:17-18 Matthew 7:25 1 Corinthians 10:13