“I guess we’re going to see what kind of job we did.”
My Dad said that to me the day I left home to study architecture at Ball State University.
In his way, I knew he was putting me on notice. I knew how I had been raised. I knew how I was supposed to act. And I knew I didn’t want to disappoint Mom and Dad.
Pleasing our parents can be a good motivator. Good to a point. I was fortunate because my parents were good examples. Sadly, some parents are not the kind of examples their children should imitate.
Whether good or bad, our parents should not define our conduct.
When you’re on your own for the first time in your life, think about this. When you find yourself in one of those times that will try you, AND YOU WILL, how will you respond? What will guide you to do the right thing?
Consider with me one of my favorite Bible characters. He was his father, Jacob’s, favorite son. He had shown himself to be trustworthy and more mature than his older brothers. He was a fine young man who was about to leave home for good.
The eleventh of twelve sons, Joseph was only seventeen years old when he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. He found himself in a foreign land, a slave to the head of Pharaoh’s “Secret Service.”
It would have been easy to rationalize that doing the right thing was not worth it anymore. Did this change Joseph? No! His conduct resulted in a promotion to overseer in Potiphar’s house.
Things were now much better for Joseph. He had a good “job” and there was even a woman interested in him. That would be great except the woman was Mrs. Potiphar! She was attracted to the handsome Joseph and made her inappropriate intentions known to him.
Would it be easy for Joseph to rationalize having sexual relations with Mrs. Potiphar? Who would know? Mom was dead and dad didn’t even know where he was.
Joseph’s response is key.
Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Genesis 39:8-9
Did you catch that? Joseph didn’t say I don’t want to disappoint dad. In essence, he said I don’t want to disappoint my Father! There’s a BIG difference!
That choice ultimately landed Joseph in prison. It would be years before he was finally granted his freedom and became second in command over all of Egypt. But that’s a story for another time.
Takeaways: Joseph didn’t choose easy, he chose right. When you find yourself on your own, away from Mom and Dad, remember what Joseph did. He chose to please his Father.
Daily Doable: Choose to please God. It might not always be easy but it will be right.
This email was inspired by one of the members of my community. I want to thank that person for reaching out.
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