Potiphar’s Wife: Looking for Fun in All the Wrong Places
After a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” Gen. 39:7
Wow, that new guy is cute. Really nice, too. And did you know he made the highest grade on the algebra test? He’s got everything!
He’d be fun to go out with … except your boyfriend wouldn’t exactly appreciate it.
That’s the situation Potiphar’s wife found herself in, although the thought of her boyfriend – or husband, to be exact – didn’t bother her.
Potiphar was one of the top men in Egypt. He commanded many people, made far-reaching decisions and owned virtually anything he wanted. To say his wife was rich and spoiled is putting it mildly. She was used to the finer things in life and was used to getting whatever she wanted, anytime.
Then she met Joseph, one of Potiphar’s most important managers. Potiphar grew to trust Joseph so much that he asked Joseph to move into his palace.
So Joseph did, and that’s when Potiphar’s wife spied him. She didn’t care about his brain or his position or his importance to Potiphar. She only cared about Joseph being young and cute – and she set her sights on him.
For what might have been the first time in a long time, someone told Potiphar’s wife “no.” She threw herself at Joseph, but he wasn’t interested. Joseph was young, but he was smart enough to avoid getting involved with a married woman.
Potiphar’s wife didn’t take the rejection well. She grabbed Joseph’s cloak when he ran away from her and accused him of trying to take advantage of her so he would be thrown in jail and punished.
Why did she do that? Because she was selfish, self-centered and cruel. Instead of seeing all the things around her and being thankful for them, she wanted one thing she didn’t have. And when she didn’t get it, she turned hateful and ugly.
That’s what living by the world’s rules can do to any of us if we’re not careful – especially where relationships with the opposite sex are concerned. We get so focused on ourselves and what we want that we forget God’s rules or other people’s needs. Then when we don’t get what we want, we don’t trust God to be in control of the situation. We take matters into our own hands and put ourselves in the judge’s seat.
But God tells us to trust Him and let Him handle situations for us (see Psalm 9:8, Pslam 55:22 and Proverbs 3:5 for starters).
We all have days when we feel selfish or spiteful or greedy like Potiphar’s wife. The difference between becoming a desperate diva like her and a diva following God’s commands is that we ask God to step in and take control rather than letting our emotions rule us.
Lord, forgive me when my selfishness takes over and I only think of myself. Help me grow to the point where I think of you and others first instead of letting my emotions take control.
Think about it: Have you ever been so focused on another person that you wanted to be around them at any cost? Sometimes there’s a fine line between really liking someone and becoming obsessed with them. Have the courage to really look at your own relationships and ask God to help you if you’re getting too carried away.
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Excerpt from Divas in Disguise: Finding the True Diva in You. Copyright 2008, Leigh DeLozier.