You and I live in a world of compromise where it is common and expected for people to say one thing and do another. Integrity is not one of those virtues highly sought after nowadays. One of the best definitions of ‘integrity’ that I have ever heard says that integrity is who you are when no one else is watching. Integrity is who you are in the dark when the lights are off. Integrity is something that characterizes the whole person, not just part. To have integrity is to be honest through and through. Because it something so rarely seen, perhaps we are shocked when we come across a rare life of integrity like Joseph’s. Here we are given a picture of a life that was free from compromise and devoted to God, even though it was costly for him.
When Potiphar’s wife tempted Joseph to sin, he refused her advances because he recognized that it would have been a great sin against God. Integrity is more concerned about what God knows than what man thinks. Joseph was a man who feared God, and his fear of God served as the basis of his integrity. When she realizes that Joseph will not cave in to her, she falsely accuses him. She had his garment to use against him as evidence for her trumped up charges. This is the second time in his life that Joseph’s cloak is used to condemn him. A puritan preacher once said, “Joseph may have lost his coat, but he kept his character.”
One of the greatest needs in the church today is people of integrity. In many ways, the witness of the gospel has been hindered by duplicity in the lives of those who claim to be its greatest champions. Without integrity, we forfeit our witness and sully the precious name by which we have been called. Truly, we can’t put a price tag on our integrity!
For more, read Genesis 39:1-23; Proverbs 22:1