11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

Yesterday I mentioned that Joseph sought to remove himself from temptation by avoiding proximity to Potiphar’s wife. I also pointed out that every addict knows that the best way to maintain sobriety is in just this same way, to simply remove oneself from the path of temptation as Joseph did.

But at the same time, as every addict knows, now and again trouble will find you, even when you’re not looking for it. Without realizing it, Joseph had stepped into a trap, and temptation literally grabbed him by the girdle, pulling him towards sin.

And so, like Joseph, our defense must be two-pronged. Stay away from evil whenever possible, but also be ready to emphatically turn it down when it shows up anyway. Joseph showed great wisdom by not trying to reason or argue with Potiphar’s wife anymore. He didn’t even try to fight her off of him. To dabble around temptation is only to let its hooks sink in deeper. Instead he wriggled out of his clothes and ran! Potiphar’s wife might have architected this situation to try and remove all of Joseph’s options, but he would always retain the ability to choose.

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