For the Christian, the idea of self-control is often thought of as a virtue, something to be desired. For many non-Christians though, the idea of self-control is ludicrous. To be self-controlled means to deny oneself of what one desires. For the person who is only living for themselves, they live to gratify their desires. The idea of self-control for that person makes little sense.
As we continue our series on role models, we are going to look at a snapshot of a man who understood what it meant to be self-controlled. More than that though, he understood why God calls men and women to be self-controlled and was blessed because of his obedience. The story of Joseph is located in Genesis chapter 39. At this point, he had been sold into slavery by his brothers and his master was a man named Potiphar. It seemed that everything Joseph touched flourished and God was blessing his work.
Please read Genesis 39:6-10.
As Joseph was carrying out his duties, he began to be tempted by Potiphar’s wife. Verse 10 tells us that “day after day,” she spoke to him, tempting him to lie with her. Each day, Joseph resisted. Keeping in mind his responsibilities, the trust of his master, and his desire to obey God, Joseph did not give in. Speaking of Joseph’s actions here, Allen P. Ross says, “The way of wisdom is to consider the cost of sin.” Joseph knew this. Ross continues to say, “Joseph did not yield to temptation because he was convinced God had something marvelous for him to do. Joseph would not throw away God’s blessings for the pleasures of sin.” He knew what God had called him to do and did not want to lose that.
How many times do we choose to give in to temptation and lose a blessing that God has for us? The peace that God promises to His children is often squandered because we continually choose to give in to that particular sin we have not ever confessed. Sometimes we give up the promise of answered prayer. In 1 Peter 3:7, it is very clear that if a husband is not living with his wife “in an understanding way,” his prayers will not be answered. The wise person considers the cost of their sin. Do you consider the cost of your sin?