Daily Devotional • Genesis 37:22

by Chris Harper February 17, 2022 2 min read

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And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him"—that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father.  

Genesis 37:22

Reuben appears as if he is doing a good thing. And in a way, he is— he is saving his brother's life. But why? Does he love Joseph? Is Rueben a good man? What is his motive?

In Genesis Chapter 35, we learn that while Jacob (Rueben's father) was away mourning his wife, Rueben slept with his stepmom, Jacob's other wife. From that day on, Reuben was the black sheep of his family, disowned by his dad. Thus, when Joseph's life was in danger, Reuben saw his chance; save Joseph and get right with dad.

Compare Rueben to Jesus. Jesus was perfect. Sinless (Hebrews 4:15). Perfect indeed. Perfect in word. Perfect in thought. Perfect in MOTIVE.

Though I strive to live like Jesus, I am more like Rueben.

I know perfection is unattainable on this side of heaven.

And one of the areas I struggle in the most is the area of motivation.

Too often, as a follower of Christ, I find myself doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

My motives are corrupted. I constantly have to check my motives to uncover my real motivation.

I have to be honest with myself; asking God to search me; "Search me, O God, and know my heart" (Psalm 139:23)

To help do that, I ask myself questions, and my answers often reveal the desires of my heart…

If no one ever knows or acknowledges what I am doing… will I keep doing it?

If there is no visible payoff... will I keep doing it?

What I am doing, is it for the praise of others?

When I have to suffer for what I am doing... will I persevere?

When others criticize, make fun, or ridicule what I do... will I quit?

If those I serve never show gratitude or appreciation for my service... will I still do it?

Friends, it is not enough to do the right thing; we must do the right thing for the right reasons.

May Jesus be the King of our actions, words, thoughts, and motives.

Press On,
Pastor Harp


Paper Sunday is blessed to collaborate with Chris Harper on today's devotional!

Chris Harper is a speaker, writer, and disciple-maker. Chris is President of 252Edu, a consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas. Chris serves schools, churches, and non-profits by helping them "grow in wisdom, favor and stature with God and man.”

When not taking ground for King Jesus, you can find Chris on the basketball court playing a pick-up game. Chris is a sneakerhead, an avid reader, and loves a good cheeseburger. You can follow him @252consulting on Instagram. 

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