At some point in your career, you will face a temptation to do something that will undermine your integrity. You may be tempted to lie or cheat. You may be tempted to have an inappropriate relationship with a coworker. You may be tempted to post something on social media that ultimately damages your integrity. Don’t do it because your integrity is indispensable to your success!
In Genesis 39:1-22 we read about Joseph and the integrity crisis he faced. He had been kidnapped and sold into slavery in Egypt. He was completely innocent and did not deserve what he was going through. He found himself working for the powerful Egyptian officer Potiphar. He did his best and God was with him in spite of his bad circumstances. Potiphar grew to appreciate and respect Joseph and he promoted him within his organization.
Enter Potiphar’s wife. She began to notice this handsome young man of character and she wanted him! She began to flirt with him and wanted him as a trophy. She was so bold that she didn’t disguise her intentions but openly asked him to sleep with her. Of course, Joseph refused, then she got mad and concocted a terrible lie and said that Joseph tried to rape her. Potiphar was enraged and had him thrown into prison. In the end, we see that God is sovereign and that God blessed Joseph when all hope seemed lost. He was eventually vindicated and became the second-in-command in all of Egypt. God was with him through it all and had a plan for his life. But can you imagine how Joseph felt? He guarded his integrity and it seemed like it cost him everything.
Integrity is critical for your success at work. You may be able to gain a short-term advantage through dishonesty or cheating, but long-term success is always underpinned by integrity. Losing your integrity leads to a loss of moral authority and will eventually doom everything you work for.
Joseph handled a difficult situation with unrelenting integrity. In spite of his circumstances he maintained a positive attitude and did what was right and trusted God for the outcome.
Genesis 39:21 states, “But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.” Sometimes we are tempted to think that God has abandoned us in difficult circumstances and are lured into discarding our principles. But God is always with us and always shows us his faithful love when we trust him. In the end, God delivered Joseph, exalted him to a position of honor, and used him to save the lives of millions of people in Egypt and the surrounding areas. God always has plans to use us even when we feel like he has put us in an impossible situation.
At some point in your career, you will face the temptation to give up your moral or relational integrity. You will be tempted to lie on a report, lie to your boss, fudge an expense report, steal from the office, do something inappropriate with a coworker, or misrepresent a product in order to make a sale. But your integrity is far more valuable than any short-term pleasure you may gain.
Cutting corners at work may seem like it leads to success, but giving up your integrity is always a losing proposition. We must learn to trust God for the outcome even if it seems like doing the right thing leads to failure. Remember that God is always with us and always demonstrates his faithful love to us. Guard your integrity like Joseph. It is one of your most valuable possessions.
How can you guard your relational integrity at work? Workplace affairs are common and they often begin innocently. What should your policy be about having lunch alone with a person of the opposite sex? How should you guard your posts on social media? Send me your thoughts on guarding your integrity.