The title seems rather ridiculous, I know! But I know it’s a thing… I know sometimes it seems that cheaters prosper, while those who try to live their life right by God the best they can seem to suffer the penalties.
In our house, we have a strict no phones at the table policy, which I must admit if it’s anyone that breaks the rules, it will be me! Bad Mummy! In an effort to create a bit of family time that didn’t involve the kids staring at screens, we have a few games at the dinner table. We will play while dinner is cooking and also kind of mid eat/after meal.
We have a few different games, mostly involving rolling dice and moving counters or building brick towers and dominos (my favourite). My youngest is ridiculously competitive and such a sore loser. This will often drive him to cheat (playfully) at the game. He will quite obviously skip two rows in a game, or go up a ladder he is nowhere near, or magically drop the dice a small inch to the perfect number, hold the Jenga tower in place, or add a domino to somewhere it’s not meant to go. He does it quite openly and, most often has to rectify his cheat, but the odd time he makes a move that we miss and he will prosper and usually win. It’s all done with a bit of fun and let’s face it, no lives are at steak, so it’s not that big of deal… like who hasn’t been tempted to cheat on a board game?
On a more serious note, lots of us are tempted to cheat in our real life to prosper, to lie on the CV to get that job you want, to keep that money just fix your taxes, to get that boy you want just be more promiscuous. All these things may involve what we consider winning, but it’s only in the short term. It’s a hard pill to swallow when dishonest, immoral behaviour seems to be not only consequence free, but a cause of advancement.
Joseph in the Bible could tell you a bit about that. Joseph would have had many reasons to feel abandoned by God. He’d been sold into slavery by his own brothers, now working in Potiphar’s house he had managed to work his way into favour again. Joe, who seems to have been a bit of a stud muffin, found himself batting off the advances of Lady Potiphar, who I would imagine would have been perfectly groomed and stunningly beautiful. Regardless, Joseph wasn’t willing to sacrifice his morals for a quick fumble and so he fled. Turns out lady Potiphar doesn’t take rejection too well and runs off to the hubadub with a big fat lie to ensure poor Joe gets slung in prison. Well if she can’t have him, no one else should, eh?!
“But Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”Genesis 39:8-9 NLT
Ultimately, Joseph’s honor to his master and God cost was prison… mmm, have you ever felt like that? I wonder looking back did Joseph ever think I should have just done the dirty deed with her and saved myself years in prison. Probably not!
Joseph knew that by staying close to God and honouring God and his law that he would see his promises come into fulfilment, and he was right. God used that time in prison to train Joseph to be the greatest leader of his time, that saw a whole nation through seven years of famine, a nation that surely would have been wiped out had it not have been for that time in prison while God prepared him for his destiny. If Joseph had just forgotten God and gone off and had a quicky with potties mrs, who knows what would have happened, probably death of Joseph and a whole nation starved to death.
God doesn’t give us these moral guidelines to be a party pooper or spoil our fun. He wants our pure, honest hearts surrendered to him and trust his plans for our life, so he can prosper us, even when it feels like we are in a prison or at a dead end delay. We need to keep our hearts pure and cling on to the truth and promises of God. We need to take our eye of the momentary pleasure and think about the eternal effect.
If others are advancing through dishonesty, impurity, and sin, we need to pray for them, not from a self-righteous, moral high ground, but because it is really heart-breaking that they would sacrifice their eternal glory for momentary pleasure. It is not something we should envy and yet so often we do.
“Come to God through the narrow gate, because the wide gate and broad path is the way that leads to destruction—nearly everyone chooses that crowded road!”
Matthew 7:13 TPT
Will you join me today in asking God to divert your heart from the attraction of advancement through deceit. Will you pray with me and ask God to purify your heart and keep your focus firmly on him, his will for our lives, his vision, his dream, and eternity with him.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
Romans 5:3-4 NLT