In studying Genesis 39:1-23, Joseph stands out as such a relevant character in our generation with reference to matters materialism. He has a dream like anyone of us does and this marks the genesis of his story-line that begins with persecutions and climaxes with victory. In the wisdom of his elder brother, step-brother, he was traded for 20pcs of silver in chapter 37. Later he becomes the possession of Potiphar. With and in God’s favour he becomes the prefect over other workers in Portiphar’s house. He, Joseph, was a well configured and handsome guy. This drove his master’s wife to having a desire to have an illicit sexual relation with him.

Joseph response was reasonable enough and a truthful one. My master, your husband, concerns himself with nothing in this house other that what he eats. He has set me over everything else apart from you. HOW THEN SHALL I DO SUCH AN IMMORAL THING AND SIN AGAINST GOD? That was not sufficient to tame her appetite or even draw her away, she remained persistent per chance Joseph would change his mind to which he was not willing to trade his holiness for sin. The woman decided to force him into it where he rescued himself leaving his coat with her. She authors a different narrative to set the young man into the center of the fire which catapults him to jail.

I can’t help but think deeply how this is seen as a bar too high to get to and compromise is the order in our day. Figure it this way: Joseph had few chances of living in this manner, that in committing this sexual sin he would be risking his life would his master have discovered it. And if the master would not have discovered it, then God would in either way be aware of it. Failure to do it was a death warrant since the wife would have made up the narrative she made (God is gracious Potiphar did not act as he ought to bearing in mind that Joseph was a slave). He must have been aware that death was an option in failing to satisfy the gratification of his master’s wife. It was a risk worth taking.

Statements such as brown envelop promotion, skirt/ pantie promotion, boardroom promotion, coffee job, one night stand employment, ‘sponsored’ promotion/ employment, light skin employment/promotion, etc are used to describe the privileges rendered in the wrong manner. Individuals have given themselves sexually to make a living. But the biggest question is that of WHY? Some of the reasons are to maintain status quo, competition with peers in amassing materials, social status, and some will say ‘watoto wakule wapi’ (where will the children feed from)? Does this mean that these desires overwrite our principles, moral values, godliness, etc? That we are willing to trade them for that which can be so huge a day and the next day it is gone?

Joseph was a foreigner, may be the only jew and he risked his life to honour God. If not for anything else, why can’t we trade our lives for him? There are bills to be paid and I don’t have job or the pay is too tiny and bills have to be paid is very popular. With such excuses, we end up acquiring these privileges  through the WRONG CURRENCY FORGETTING THAT WITH THE SAME CURRENCY SHALL WE SUSTAIN THEM; AND IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME AND THE CURRENCY LOSSES VALUE AND IS DRAWN OFF THE COUNTER AND REPLACED WITH A NEW ONE. This is a short term solution and so would it have been with Joseph. It may have seemed like a breakthrough would he have given in but it would have ended in him being broken through in a matter of time. Integrity to God and his master mattered.

 Having pulled such an act, he was in a position to walk his neck straight whether in prison or later on when he rose to the position of second in command; over his former master if he was still making use of oxygen. It is not for the unprincipled nor the ungodly to to say no when ILLICIT offers are made. It is then a call for the Godly to say NO. Citing an example my friend shared about one of her close friends, a male, qualified for a position in an organization through facing a board in which he emerged the best. Few months down the line a department manager lands in his office during the lunch hour and makes herself comfortable on his desk, facing him (he was sitted on the chair facing the desk) with her legs apart. The message was loud and clear that sustaining that position was all dependent on his ability to ‘sign the open cheque’ in her terms. She was consistent in following up for some days to which made the young graduate to resign and keep his standards. Mind you the gentleman is not a follower of Christ Jesus. He said that he’d rather go burn charcoal in Ukambani other than do such. Where are such principled individuals fading into? Apparently, the guy is doing well where he is; I’m a witness to that. Remember he would have raised reasons of just being a young man starting life, he has no other option, etc.

Integrity is in most, if not all, cases a map to a  rough mountain whose top exposes one to a promised land though climbing the same mountain is not a walk in a park. Joseph is vomited into the prisons where his character still stands and he is again made a prefect. He ends up spending time there, forgotten only for him to rise to the second in command in a foreign land, as a foreigner in Egypt. Is that not encouraging? Being fired for declining sexual proposals and corruption and other vices does not translate to the end of life. It may not be business as norm but deep withing the conscience there will be a testimony to yourself that you did that which was right and truthful. That you can give a moral direction to others, your children, etc. What principles and values do you live with that you cannot trade them out for anything whatsoever?

Love, The Giver of New Identity

John 15:14-16 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn’t know what his lord does.But I have called you friends,for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. You didn’t choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

When we are hiring employees like farm workers, house helps, builders, etc we do vet them to that which we want having stated fourth our terms and conditions. We do expect that they will honour that which has been entrusted to them to execute. We reward them as per the delivery of that which we agreed upon.

We do not ask of their opinion when we are giving them these particular tasks. We never ask our gardeners what they think is better cultivated at a certain portion of their land, we don’t ask for the reason as to why we should dress in a particular way for them to iron our clothes. They work as per our standards, they follow instructions. This is because they are our servants and we are their bosses. A servant could be said to be more noble when compared to slave. This is because slaves have a bigger role to play. Failure to meet the command of the boss is accompanied with anguish, torture and punishment. Slaves work against their own will.

Jesus in telling his disciples that he no longer calls them servants meant a stature and a new identity in place. What defines friendship is truthfulness, openness, care & concern, and so on. Thus, Jesus reminds his disciples that he CHOSE them, He has moved their IDENTITY to FRIENDSHIP and with regards to this He had expectation from them: BEARING LONG-LASTING FRUIT. To a friend, one has no need to hide the intentions of a particular course of action and no wonder Jesus tells them that He has REVEALED everything he heard from God the Father. That means they are beyond slaves and servants and are now friends and no longer in darkness over why God is doing things in certain ways.  The fruit then that Christ calls us to is founded on one main pillar: LOVE.  John 15:17 “I command these things to you, that you may love one another. This then translates to one main command of loving one another. Thus the fruit of love is called to remain. 1Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, and love remain. The greatest of these is love. And this is the response we accord the one who called and loved us first. He, Jesus Christ, has loved us with such a love that is extravagant: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.