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Playing with fire
Now it happened one day... none of the men of the household was there inside - Gen.39:11
Potiphar’s wife was frequently tempting Joseph to sleep with her. But this day he found himself alone in the house with her. Her pressure was strong, and this thought may have crossed his mind that no one would know. But Joseph’s respect for God and his determination to stay pure helped him to conquer this extremely strong temptation.
Many times our circumstances set the stage for our fall. We are extremely vulnerable to being drawn to someone of the opposite gender if our own marriage is going through strain. Then innocent smiles, kind words, an accidental touch--all appear to be appealing. A red flag should go up if we start sharing with them about our personal problems, instead of keeping the relationship professional.
The cumulative stress of work pressure, travel, things that have gone wrong, etc., can even make us imagine that we deserve a little bit of self-indulgence. Consider what can happen when you have travelled to a distant place with this ‘friendly’ colleague and at the end of the day’s tiring work meet for dinner at the hotel. Even if you are travelling alone to another place, think of the ‘opportunities’ you have for indulging yourself in many ways.
A class reunion where you meet your ‘old flame’ can stir up all the infatuation of those times, and before you realise it you find yourself craving for reliving those times of fun and pleasure. Opportunities for sin are practically unlimited, and if the devil knows we have a weakness in this area, he will only be too glad to arrange special attractions for us. Nothing but rigorous watchfulness and cries to God can preserve us.
What helped Joseph was that he knew God, and he didn’t want to fail Him who meant so much to him. His reply to his temptress was, "How can I do this to my God?"
Lord, I don’t want to fall! But I can’t manage without You. Help me to keep close to You at all times.
Published in Management Devotional - Biblical insights for daily work life, Christian Institute of Management.