My devotional reading this morning had to do with the story of Joseph and how he resisted Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him. In case you are not familiar with the story, it goes like this: Jacob had twelve sons and the second youngest was called Joseph. Jacob loved Joseph more than the others because he was the son of Rachel, the wife whom Jacob adored. To show his love for Joseph, Jacob made him a special coat of many colors. This show of favoritism caused Joseph’s brothers to hate him.
To make matters worse, Joseph often taunted them by telling them his dreams. He told one dream in which he saw them bowing to him. This made them hate him even more. One day when they were tending the flocks in the field, Jacob sent Joseph to see how they were doing. When the brothers saw him coming, they plotted to kill him, but Reuben, the oldest, balked at the idea. They eventually ended up selling Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites who were passing by, and Joseph ended up in Egypt.
Not only did God spare Joseph’s life, but he gave him favor with Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, who put him in charge of his household. Potiphar’s wife took one look at the handsome young man and decided she must have him. The Bible says every day she tried to tempt him to go to bed with her, but Joseph refused. Then one day when no one else was in the house, “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 : 12).
So, to my question above, can you resist temptation ? Can you run from it the way Joseph did ? In the story, Joseph ran from sexual sin, a sin of the flesh. There are other fleshly temptations that may not be sin, but they can be harmful to us in some way. Gluttony, alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, all of these can get us into trouble if we don’t run from them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a glass of wine now and then (Jesus made wine at the wedding feast – John 2: 1 – 10), but if you know you are given to alcoholism you should refuse.
Learning to resist temptation can help you build character and live a life that pleases God and frees you from harmful impulses. Have you tried to resist some temptation or habit and failed over and over again? Maybe you need someone to help guide you through the process. If so, why not fill in the form below and let’s have a chat? I’m waiting to hear from you.