When No One is Watching

Veronica Burlock, Worship Pastor, Wheaton | November 29, 2023

One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.
Genesis 39:11-12

So, let’s back up a bit from today’s Scripture…. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers out of jealousy (Gen. 37:28). He finds himself in Egypt now working for Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, as a slave in the palace. Potiphar’s wife sees Joseph and lusts after him, so much so that she grabs him, and the only way he escapes is by leaving his cloak behind still in her hands.

Notice that Scripture says that no one was in the house at the time she threw herself at him. It’s easy to practice self-control when everyone is watching, but how’s that going for you in the secret places? This is a question I have my accountability partner ask me all the time. It’s a tough question to sit through, but it’s also crucial. 

Joseph has a lot to be rightfully angry about—his life turned upside down all in the same week, and now he has to deal with Potiphar’s wife, a woman that’s completely off limits, and yet he had the integrity and strength to choose self-control even when no one was watching. 

God calls us to have self-control in every aspect of our lives (Gal. 5:23). Not just in how we interact with others, but with what we eat, watch, and listen to, even with the words we let come out of our mouths. Proverbs 11:3 says the integrity of the upright guides them. Let your integrity guide you to have self-control. Don’t ask yourself how you’re doing with self-control when others are around you. Ask yourself how you’re doing with self-control when no one’s watching. For that is the true test.

Next Steps   

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