That Reflects Poorly on Your Wife
His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. Genesis 39:3
As I’ve mentioned recently, my wife and I have been working on learning to eat better. I’ve lost some weight and have found that my old clothes are a bit baggy. A few weeks ago, I wore one of my old favorite shirts to church without consulting my wife, who was gone for the day. When I got home from work a few days later, I found that she’d bought me several new, smaller shirts. Apparently, one of her friends at church had commented to her about how silly I looked in that XL shirt. When you dress badly, it reflects poorly on me. Her point was valid. Because people know us as spouses, what one of us does, reflects upon the other.
It’s amusing when it comes to oversized shirts, but that’s far from the most embarrassing thing I’ve put my wife through. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what others think of me, but in recovery, I do care what my behavior says about me and how it affects my wife. If I claim to love her, but my behavior says otherwise, that’s terribly hurtful to her.
Today’s passage illustrates this same principle is at work when it comes to our faith – As those who claim to be Christians, our behavior reflects upon God. In today’s story, Joseph had been sold by his brothers into slavery and was taken to Egypt. There, Joseph served Potiphar, the captain of the guard. Joseph did his job well and Potiphar noticed, giving credit to the God that Joseph claimed to serve. Potiphar rewarded Joseph’s competence by putting him in charge of all he had. We’re not told that Potiphar worshipped and followed God, but Joseph’s behavior certainly shaped his opinion of God.
It’s a bit of a terrifying thought, but if we call ourselves followers of Christ, then our behavior shapes other’s opinion of him. If we’re kind, loving, and full of integrity, then those who know little of Christ will likely think well of him because of us. If, however, we’re prideful, hostile, condescending, unkind, and selfish, then unfortunately, that too will reflect on Christ.
So, the question for me is – What does my behavior say about the one I claim to follow? My behavior was once quite embarrassing. Now, in recovery, I daily pray that my life would be a beacon that points others to faith and recovery. Just as I don’t want my baggy shirts to reflect poorly on my wife, I don’t want my behavior to reflect poorly on God.