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 39:11-12
In my freshman year of college, I found myself faced with new temptations. I gave into some and began feeling as though I was a hypocrite. One day, the reality hit me like a ton of bricks: I needed to change the way I was living and make decisions that Jesus wanted me to make. But, wanting to overcome temptations and actually doing so is challenging. Then I learned a lesson that helped me greatly: the lesson of running from temptation.
This is a lesson that God shows us in the book of Genesis when the story of Joseph is being recounted. Joseph found himself the head of all servants in his master Potiphar’s home. His master trusted him and gave access to anything and everything in the home. One day, however, Potiphar’s wife noticed Joseph and asked him to go to bed with her. Joseph said no, but Potiphar’s wife was persistent. One day, she cornered him again and Joseph turned and ran away, getting out of there as quickly as he could.
Joseph’s actions are important for us to remember and understand. Have you ever found yourself in a tempting situation and tried to talk your way out of it, only to be talked into it? The Bible reminds us over and over to not flirt with sin. Sin is tempting and beautiful. It entices you with its promise of fulfillment. The problem is that the promise sin offers is temporary and a lie. Although sin is attractive, it draws us in and damages our soul.
This is why Joseph runs. We know the things the Bible warns us not to do, but every so often, we get roped in and taken for a ride. Just look at Adam and Eve. They knew perfectly well not to eat the forbidden fruit, but instead of running from the serpent, they were enticed by a promise of fulfillment that was a lie.
Let’s learn from the biblical examples and choose not to believe the lies, as tempting as they might be. Choose instead to run.
1. What sin are you entertaining in your life that you need to run from?
2. Talk to a friend or mentor who can help keep you accountable for turning from sin and running the other direction?
Romans 6:6-7; 2 Timothy 2:22-23; 1 John 1:7