Joseph: A Man of Integrity
Observation: Although he was betrayed by his brothers and falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph chose to live a life of integrity.
Central Truth: God honors those who live a life of integrity.
Memory Verse: Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Objective: Students will understand that, if we are to succeed at living a life of integrity, we need a plan to do so. At the end of this lesson students will be asked to write out their own personal “code of conduct” designed to help them avoid temptations and live above reproach.
Introduction: Rev. Billy Graham is probably the most renowned and respected evangelist of our generation. Since the 1940’s his life has been devoted to preaching the Christian gospel throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been transformed through Graham’s preaching. One person described Billy Graham as having the fame of a rock star and the respect of a pope.
Rev. Graham’s is also distinguished for his life of integrity. There are many examples of how careful he is to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. One is his refusal to ride on an elevator with a woman, unless there are others with him. At times, it seems he works almost too hard to maintain his clean reputation. But, because Rev. Graham has been fiercely dedicated to a life of integrity and he has avoided any hint of scandal or impropriety.
In the book of Genesis we learn that Joseph was not as fortunate. Joseph did everything in his power to live a life of integrity, yet he was sold into slavery by his brothers and falsely accused by his master’s wife only to be thrown in jail for a crime he did not commit. As you read these verses take note of how Joseph’s consistent life eventually brought glory to God.
Study Scripture: Review the highlights of the story of Joseph by reading the following passages.
· (37:22): Joseph’s brothers plan to kill Joseph. But Reuben convinces them to throw him alive into a pit.
· (37:28–30): The brothers decide to sell Joseph to a band of Ishmaelite traders for twenty pieces of silver.
· (37:31–35): The brothers deceive Jacob into believing that Joseph has been killed and eaten by a wild animal.
· (39:1–6): Joseph becomes a faithful and highly effective servant in the house of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s palace guard.
· (39:7): Potiphar’s wife attempts to seduce Joseph.
· (39:8–12): He refuses her advances repeatedly, even running from the house on one occasion, leaving his shirt behind.
· (39:13–20): Joseph is falsely accused of attempted rape and thrown into prison!
· Have you ever been in a situation where you were pressured to compromise your convictions?
· What are the benefits of living a life of integrity?
· Why is it important to do the right thing even though you may be punished or face negative consequences?
· What are the consequences when we compromise our convictions?
· What steps can we take to make sure we live a consistent life of integrity?
· Reflect on the following verses. What do they tell us about living a life of integrity?
o Matthew 5:16
o Psalm 37:1-6
o Psalm 119:11
o 1 Thess. 5:21-23
o Job 31:1
o Colossians 3:23
· There is an old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” It is evident that we will not be able to live a life of integrity unless we plan to do so. Temptations and pressures come from every direction and if we are not prepared we are vulnerable. Have the members of your group make a list of things you can do to avoid temptations or compromising situations.
· Encourage your students to take this list home with and write their own code of conduct or list of things they will do that will keep them safe against compromise.