HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
THE KEY TO INTEGRITY
EVERYTHING WE HAVE IS GIVEN TO US AS A STEWARDSHIP FROM GOD.
Did you notice that, even though it was Potiphar that had commissioned him to the task of managing everything for him, and that had entrusted all that great authority to him, Joseph still felt responsible to God most of all? He considered that to take Potiphar’s wife was a violation of the trust he had received from God! It wasn’t only because it would have been a sin against Potiphar that Joseph refused his wife. It was because, most of all, it would have been a sin against God.
The reason you and I must live with integrity in every area of life is that every area of life has been given to us as stewardship—ultimately—from God Himself; and we will one day give an account to Him for we have managed and used what He has given us. The apostle Paul once broke this truth down to just about every meaningful area of life—even those which we consider ‘private’—and made us ultimately accountable to God for all of it. He wrote;
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in the sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.
Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven (Colossians 3:18-4:1).
Again, we fail in many ways in different areas of life. We often fall far short of what we should be. And once again, I praise God for His amazing grace through Jesus Christ. When it comes to my record of performance concerning the things God has entrusted to me, I’m going to have to lean heavily upon His mercy and grace on the great day of accounting.
But the realization that all that I am, have, or do, is the stewardship that has been given to me from God—and that I must, one day, give an accounting for my management of it all—helps keep me faithful to my duties, or from trying to cover-up any ongoing sin.
So; I suggest that Joseph understood that nothing is hidden from the sight of God and that everything that he had was ultimately stewardship from God for which he must, one day, give an account. And these things motivated him to live with integrity in all that God gave Him to do.
But taken by themselves, they would have made Joseph’s integrity a product of being afraid of God—and not a product of love. And so, I’d like to suggest one more thing. I believe that one of the truly great motivational truths that Joseph knew was that . . .