• From Brazil to Portugal

    From Brazil to Portugal

    Leiria Castle has been overlooking Leiria since 1142 when Dom Afonso Henrique built it to define a line of defence against Arab invaders. This began Read More
  • Integrity Matters

    Integrity Matters

    1. FIDELITY & DEPENDABILITY Integrity: moral uprightness; honesty – Oxford English Reference DictionaryWhen his master saw that the LORD was with [Joseph] and that the LORD Read More
  • Running The Race In Zambia

    Running The Race In Zambia

    Life is certainly a race, and believe me, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down as we approach the finishing line. To God be the Read More
  • Mission Resources

    Mission Resources

    Interested in forming a church mission committee? Wanting to know more or keep up-to-date about mission and missions? Needing resource material to promote mission in Read More
  • Changing Times

    Changing Times

    When I think about how things have changed with the times, it is helpful for me to anchor the conversation in what hasn’t changed: God’s Read More
  • Changes Over The Years

    Changes Over The Years

    (and there have been many!) We are living in a world of constant change. It is hard to keep up with the pace at which Read More
  • Hands At Work In South Africa

    Hands At Work In South Africa

    In Exodus 17, we read of the Amalekites coming out to fight the Israelites. As the battle began, Moses made his way up the mountain Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

1. FIDELITY & DEPENDABILITY

Integrity: moral uprightness; honesty – Oxford English Reference Dictionary

When his master saw that the LORD was with [Joseph] and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favour in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. – Ge 39:5

What a whirlwind ride for Joseph. After nearly being killed but instead sold as a slave by green-eyed brothers, Joseph was taken to Egypt — but the Lord was with him. Joseph’s relationship with God was clearly apparent, and he demonstrated fidelity to Potiphar’s trust: he was honest about his role (“…everything he owns he has entrusted to my care” – Ge 39:8), and dependable in his actions (albeit unknown to Potiphar at the time, but known to God). Most importantly, Joseph’s primary concern was for what God thought: “How then could I…sin against God?” (Ge 39:9). He would have known that succumbing to temptation would have also dishonoured Potiphar, but his critical focus was on what offence the act would bring to God.

From a practical point of view, we can hone such integrity through planned moral accountability. That accountability may not be through regular one-on-one sessions with a prayer buddy; it may just be a moral defence plan that will kick in when it matters. Surely Joseph had that disciplined system in place to resist the repetitious advances of Mrs Potiphar. To resist such temptation he did the only thing he could under the circumstances: run. Paul advises, “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Co 6:18) — and Joseph did just that. He didn’t stick around to test his moral strength, or try to rationalise Mrs P’s seduction and talk her out of it — he just hightailed it out of the potentially compromising situation (although it’s better not to leave evidence that can be used against you — but his righteousness, and God’s overarching plan, ultimately prevailed).

2. HONESTY & ACCOUNTABILITY

You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. – Mt 25:21 & 23

In the parable of the Talents (a talent is more than a thousand dollars) the servants who were given five and two talents returned with five and two more, respectively. They both doubled their investment and were given the same commendation. Compare and contrast this parable with that of the Ten Minas in Luke 19 (1 talent = 60 minas) when the servants were given the same amount but returned with differing profits, and were rewarded proportionately. However, in both parables the servant who hid what he was given was chastised and punished for not investing it — and his share was given to the one who gained most for the master.

To be trusted with much, you must be able to be trusted with little — the good steward obeys and makes his master’s money ‘work’ and gain profit. As any employee knows, you don’t advance by doing nothing (unless through nepotism), and even when you work hard your gains may not be commensurate with the energy you’ve expended. Our gifts and talents are from our Master’s wealth. We often waste an inordinate amount of time and effort trying to better ourselves in ways and fields with which we were never gifted. Sometimes we would do well to heed any “better stick to your day job” advice and just stop and think where we’re heading, asking ourselves, “Am I productively developing a God-given talent or skill, or simply wasting my time searching for other avenues to serve God that just aren’t open to me?”

CURRENT ARTICLES

Leiria Castle has been overlooking Leiria since 1142 when Dom Afonso Henrique built it to define a...
1. FIDELITY & DEPENDABILITY Integrity: moral uprightness; honesty – Oxford English Reference...
Life is certainly a race, and believe me, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down as we approach the...
When I think about how things have changed with the times, it is helpful for me to anchor the...
(and there have been many!) We are living in a world of constant change. It is hard to keep up...