There are temptations in many occupations today. Married men and women sometimes spend more time talking to someone of the opposite sex than they do their own spouse. The devil is hard at work in these situations, leaving the impression in the mind of a disgruntled husband, “That lady at work is really nice to me,” or enticing an unhappy wife to think, “The man I work with actually listens when I talk.” Studies show that many affairs begin with conversations with someone at work. Experience reveals the same. Preachers who have worked with marriage problems can tell you that when they counsel couples devastated by adultery the outside party is often a person the husband or wife met at work.
Christians need to be extremely careful. Too much familiarity in conversation breaks down the wall of respect and makes it easy for things to go too far. A married man who has lunch with a woman other than his wife is playing with fire. Then there is the problem of carefree bodily contact that begins in a seemingly innocent manner and develops into full-blown sin. Our society does not regard the line of decency and respect established in the Bible between public life and private life. Nothing seems to be private anymore; people talk about everything openly. Christians have to be on guard constantly in these situations. Their honor, their marriage, their children, their congregation and more than anything else their soul is at stake.
Joseph was seventeen when his brothers sold him as a slave (Gen. 37). After he arrived in Egypt, he worked for a man named Potiphar. Young Joseph did well for himself. Potiphar trusted him implicitly and turned over his personal finances to Joseph. But a problem arose. Potiphar’s wife wanted to have an affair with Joseph. She pressured him day after day. How did Joseph handle this? Remember, he was at a stage in life when many would have been very vulnerable. He was handsome and successful. He had been rejected by his brothers and he was away from home. Who would ever know? But he refused. What kept him from sinning? He asked, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9). Joseph had strong faith in God.
What can Christians do in the face of the trials and temptations at work?
- “Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17). Pray that God will give you strength in times of temptation (Luke 22:31-32).
- “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11).
- Paul tells us to “do your own business, and to work with your own hands” (I Thess. 4:11).
- “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).