Moral Development

"How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9 

Temptation slow-danced before him. She was beautiful, willing, and the boss would never know. Although this scenario is not unusual, Joseph’s response was. He did not hang around to weigh the odds of being caught or try to reason with teenage hormones. He saw this situation for what it was---sin against God. And because his commitment to God was greater than his commitment to himself, he got up and ran. His decision was not made in that moment of temptation. Only fools rely on willpower to come through at the last minute. No, Joseph’s decision was made the day he began to live as a friend of God.  

 We make decisions according to our level of moral development. We start out learning to do right based upon the promise of rewards or punishments. As we age, we are motivated by popular opinion or even our own moral code. But God designed us to live by a higher standard. The Bible calls it the “law of liberty” (Jms. 2:12). People at this level can be called “friends of God,” because they see life as an opportunity to advance God’s purposes, rather than their own. They can be trusted to do right even when no one knows, because their motivation is to please God. Because Joseph’s desire was to please God, he could resist temptation when most would have crumbled. Friends of God have already decided that sin is not worth it. They get up and run.

What is your motivation for making the choices you make? At what level of moral development are you living?

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