What's So Important about Integrity

By Marjorie Foerster Eddington

When Joseph was a teenager, he had dreams which told him that he would be great, that his brothers would bow down to him. Rather than keep that information to himself, he shared his dreams with his brothers. Bragging about such a thing was not a smart idea, especially since his brothers were already jealous of the fact that their father, Jacob, favored Joseph. Rather than killing him, as they originally wanted to do, Joseph's brothers threw him into a pit and sold him into slavery. Out of this pit, Joseph eventually rose to rule and save nations.

  1. Joseph set high standards. He had a strong work ethic and high sense of integrity.
    • He rose in his master's house; he was successful because the "Lord was with him" (Gen. 39:3).
    • He refused to sleep with his master's wife (Gen. 39: 6-16).

You can set high standards for yourself.

  • Set a high goal for yourself in school, sports, or artistic endeavors. Write down the specific things you are going to do to achieve this goal. Do them. It may take more effort than expected, but the results are worth it.
  • Take a stand for morals and ethics. You don't have to yield to peer pressure or to the desire for instant gratification. Refuse to be tempted to cheat, have sex out of wedlock, do drugs, drink, or smoke.
  1. Joseph made the best of horrible situations.
    • After being sold into slavery (Gen. 37: 18-29), Joseph served his master, Potiphar, to the best of his ability and ended up being in charge of everything in his master's house (Gen. 39:1-6).
    • Potiphar's wife had Joseph thrown into prison because he would not sleep with her. She told her husband that Joseph tried to take advantage of her. In prison, Joseph turned to God and was put into a position of power (Gen 39:16-23).
    • Because he refused to let his worsening circumstances keep him from listening to and trusting in God, Joseph was able to interpret dreams. This ability eventually led to his release from prison and his promotion to second-in-command of all Egypt (Gen. 40 - 41).

You can make the best of a situation that is bothering you.

  • First of all, list everything for which you are grateful.
  • Next, write down what you either are learning or could learn from the situation. See how it could help you grow.
  • Then, refuse to complain. Rather, rejoice that God is taking care of you.
  • And last, trust in God.

If you do these things, if you appreciate all that is good, the situation will change or you will be lifted out of it.

  1. Joseph saved nations.
    • Joseph's ability to understand God's messages enabled him to interpret Pharoah's two dreams that indicated there would be 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine (Gen. 41:15-36).
    • As a result of his intuition, Pharaoh elevated him to second-in-command and told Joseph that he would be in charge of his people (Gen. 41:37-46).
    • Joseph then orchestrated how the food was to be gathered, saved, and distributed. When the famine hit, Joseph's massive preparations kept the Egyptians, the neighboring countries, and the Israelites from starving.
    • Joseph's work saved his own people and brought them to Egypt.

You can make a difference in the lives of those who are victims of war, poverty, or abuse in your community, our nation, and the world.

  • Organize a clothing and toy drive, a bake-sale, or an auction to raise money and provide goods for children who have lost parents and families who have lost loved ones from the recent war.
  • Contact your local churches, shelters, or even the Red Cross to see how you can help people in need. There are several organizations listed on the web that provide support. You can also just Ask Jeeves.

Your contribution will do more good and mean more than you can ever know.