THE DREAM PART 6 – THE HIGH COST OF INTEGRITY
Sometimes, living with integrity is not as straight forward as it might seem. Why? We can easily assume that by doing the right thing that we will instantly reap the rewards. Sometimes, this simply is not the case. There will be times that we will do the right thing, make the right choice, take the right action and instead of reaping an instant reward will suffer a cost greater than what we could imagine. When this happens, what do we do? How can steel ourselves for the high cost that comes with integrity while also keeping perspective on the rewards that God will bring in due time?
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.
When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”
When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.
Joseph did the right thing by saying “no” to Potiphar’s wife. Instead of seeing instant rewards for his choice, he instead suffered a high cost. He was lied about. His reputation was ruined. He was thrown in jail. Through it all, he still kept his faith in God and over time saw God bring reward after reward even in difficult circumstances. We could look to his example and learn from it.
THE COST OF INTEGRITY IS HIGH. THE REWARDS OF INTEGRITY ARE HIGHER.
THE COST OF ISOLATION. THE REWARD OF PRESENCE. (…she called her household servants / When his master heard the story his wife told him…. / But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him…)
Doing the right thing cost Joseph relationships with a lot of people. Almost instantly, because of the lies of Potiphar’s wife, he experienced social isolation and loneliness. The reward he received, however, was that even in the middle of his isolation “the Lord was with him.” Joseph may have been isolated, but he was not alone. The presence of God was with him. When we experience isolation for doing the right thing, like Joseph we can find comfort in the presence and promise of God himself.
Question for group
HOW DOES THE THREAT AND / OR REALITY OF ISOLATION SAP YOUR COURAGE CONCERNING INTEGRITY?
THE COST OF TEMPORARY, PUBLIC EMBARRASSMENT. THE REWARD OF PERMANENT, PRIVATE STABILITY. ( When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger….. / … he showed him kindness)
The cost of Joseph doing the right thing was his reputation being torn to pieces. While at the time the embarrassment hurt, it was only temporary. His reward from God, however, was to be shown kindness. It is telling that in the middle of Joseph’s public embarrassment that God was privately providing him the stability he needed to thrive. Our lives are the same. When all else crumbles, we can gain strength from God that will sustain us through every public storm brought on by Integrity.
Question for group
HOW DOES WALKING IN INTEGRITY INTERNALLY STABILIZE YOU FOR EXTERNAL CHALLENGES?
THE COST OF LIMITED OPTIONS. THE REWARD OF UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES. (Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison…. / … and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden)
On the surface, Joseph being thrown in prison provided him with limited options at best. Even in the middle of tough circumstances, God was granting him the one thing he needed to thrive: Favor. The Favor of God makes even the most impossible of circumstances the backdrop for unlimited possibilities. Integrity is the key, as God will not bless what our integrity cannot sustain.
Question for group
THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT THE FAVOR OF GOD. HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE TO RISE ABOVE YOUR CURRENT LIMITATIONS?
Feb 16th after the 10a experience
Ready to take the next steps at Radiant? Rad 101 is for you! Rad 101 is a 1 week class, held on Sundays immediately after the 10:00 experience. This class teaches the history, mission, and values of Radiant while also answering some basic questions on how to get plugged into serving on team at Radiant. Our next Rad 101 is scheduled for Sunday, February 16th.
For more details, and to register, please see us at the Home Tent or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
March 1 | After Church
Next Sunday is our Cake Auction! Cake Auction is our once a year fund raiser, with all proceeds covering kids and teens cost for camp. Immediately following the 10:00 Experience we will head next door to Sonny Carter Elementary School to eat, buy cakes, and raise money for camps!
If you have a kid or teen and want to inquire about going to camp, please see either Brandi Pye, Jacob Erikson, or Courtney Erikson. If you don’t have a kid or teen, but yet want to be a part of this big day, still make plans to join us at Sonny Carter and we can point you in the right direction for a table!