By Joe Chesser
What would you do if you were fired from your job and put in prison because the owner’s wife told some horrible lies about you?
What would you do if you had to flee the country because you helped defend a neighbor from an injustice?
What would you do if you were offered something you greatly desired but knew was illegal and life-threatening to obtain?
What would you do if suddenly you discovered that all that you had believed in the past was not true, and instead of serving God you were actually fighting him?
What would you do if you were offered a considerable amount of money to betray a friend?
What would you do if you found out that the woman to whom you were engaged became pregnant before the wedding, and it wasn’t your child?
These questions are not about hypothetical situations. They really happened, and the answers to these questions reveal the type of character each person possessed at the time the crisis occurred. You can probably identify each of the people in the above scenarios: Joseph (Jacob’s son), Moses, Eve, Paul, Judas, and Joseph (and Mary). Some of them faced the crisis with faith and resolve, and withstood the challenge. Others failed. But what these examples teach us is that when crises occur, our character will be revealed.
All of us have faced and will continue to face many challenges in our lives. They may be strong temptations, they may be difficult choices, they may be heart-breaking health issues. Many of our crises are not personally our own – they may involve our spouse, parents, children, family or friends. Yet they are heavy burdens.
How we handle these crises reveals our character. It also reveals how we have prepared for the inevitable. We may not know exactly what kind of crisis may be coming, but they will come. How we prepare today for them will determine how these crises affect us. Roy Disney once said, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Joseph was able to overcome the crisis with Potiphar’s wife because he had already established his values, even as a teenager. Moses overcame his poor choice by developing spiritually while in the wilderness. Judas failed to prepare for his crisis at any time. Which best describe you right now?
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO. He may be contacted through the congregation's website.