“How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9
The world is always coining fresh language to make sin seem more acceptable. Instead of describing Joseph’s temptation here as an act of adultery, some people today would call it an affair or a fling. Change the language and it doesn’t sound like such a big deal.
If Satan can persuade you that the sin to which you are tempted is not a big deal, it will not be long until you fall into temptation. Joseph calls the sin to which he is tempted, “this great wickedness” (39:9). He sees and feels the sinfulness of sin, and that acts as a defense in his soul.
The great motive for the Christian in the battle against temptation is that you have come to love God. That means that His frown would be your greatest dread, and His smile would be your greatest delight. So, if you love the Lord, grieving the Father who loves you, sinning against the Christ who died for you, resisting the Holy Spirit who lives within you—will seem like a fearful thing to you. “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (39:9).
Faithfulness will not be easy. Joseph must have known that his faithfulness would be costly. It was not beyond him to imagine what Potiphar’s wife would do with the robe. And sure enough, the immediate outcome of Joseph’s faithfulness was that it landed him in prison.
How are you describing a current temptation? Call it by its proper name. Is it pride? Is it envy? The Bible says these things are an abomination to the Lord.