Someone once helped me unload a sofa and bring it into my office. They used their truck and brute strength to help me get the almighty thing up a flight of stairs. When I went back to the truck, I realized the man helping me had parked in a disabled parking spot. I suggested he could park the truck in a regular, non-handicapped space now that we were done.
“Oh, it’s okay. I have a handicap badge,” he replied.
I was a little saddened that he was willing to cut corners and jeopardize honesty for the sake of convenience.
It’s the little things that build or break trust with each other. The person who manages to keep a secret and refrains from gossip in the crowd. The acknowledgment of an undercharged bill at a restaurant. The choice to leave a hotel room better than when it was first stepped into. These instances show me that someone is living with integrity.
I think of Joseph and the many atrocities he had to face. And yet, despite the circumstances, despite captivity and oppression, he always made moves with integrity and carried out work with excellence. In his love for the Lord, his every choice was an act of worship.
When Joseph was made a servant for Potiphar, Potiphar favored Joseph and saw the Lord’s favor on him. So when Potiphar’s wife made sexual advances while no one else was at home, Joseph ran from the seduction, refusing to disobey his master. Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of sexual harassment and said that it was Joseph who tried to seduce her. In this deception, in this cruel accusation, Joseph was imprisoned. What’s the point in having integrity if this could happen to us? The reality is that any other person accused of seducing a woman would have been executed. Perhaps, just perhaps, the consistent integrity of Joseph, his everyday choices of love and honor, had been a necessary piece of evidence to show that Joseph could be trusted when the master’s back was turned.
Although we are often tempted to cut corners, choosing the harder, more noble path could one day save our lives, just as it did Joseph’s.
As it says in Luke 16:10 (KJV), “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”