This object lesson teaches that we don’t always get to choose our circumstances, but we always get to choose our attitude about those circumstances. It highlights Joseph’s way of handling his enslavement to Potiphar in Genesis 39:1-20.
- (Optional) Costume to wear as you play the role of Potiphar.
· (Optional) Dress up as Potiphar.
· Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
· “Today, we are going to talk about Joseph from the Bible.”
· “He was his father’s favorite son but his brothers’ least favorite sibling.”
· “In fact, they hated him so much that they sold him into slavery!”
· “A passing band of Ishmaelites bought Joseph and took him to Egypt, where they sold him to a man named Potiphar, one of Pharoah’s officials. (Have volunteer read Genesis 39:1-20.)
· “How many of you think Joseph got a really unfair deal?” (Take responses.)
· “Me, too. I wouldn’t want to be a slave, and I sure wouldn’t want to be thrown into prison for something I didn’t do.”
· “Let’s play a game like ‘Simon Says.’ It’s called ‘Potiphar Says.’”
· “Everyone stand up.”
· “I’m going to ask you to do several things. If I say ‘Potiphar says’ before the thing I ask you to do, then you should do it.”
· “However, if I don’t say ‘Potiphar says’ before the thing I ask you to do, you shouldn’t do it.”
· “If you do something when I don’t say ‘Potiphar says,’ you have to sit down.”
· “Is everyone clear on the rules?” (Check to make sure everyone is clear.)
· “Okay, let’s play:” (Play a round of ‘Potiphar Says,’ asking the kids to touch their noses, raise their hands above their heads, hop on one foot, etc… Mix up the times you say, ‘Potiphar says,’ to try to catch them off guard. You can run several rounds if they go quickly.)
· “That was fun! Probably a lot more fun than Joseph had following Potiphar’s orders, don’t you think?”
· “But you know what really impresses me about Joseph?”
· “Even though the whole thing was unfair…even though he had lost his family and his home and his country and his freedom, Joseph still had a great attitude about the whole thing.”
· “He could have kicked the dirt and complained about how unfair it all was, but he didn’t.”
· “He did his job the best he could. In fact, he did it so well that Potiphar put him in charge of everything!” (Have volunteer reread Genesis 39:4-6.)
· “Joseph kept trusting in God and doing the best he could. He made the best of a bad situation, and God blessed him.”
· “And because Joseph was blessed, Potiphar’s entire household was blessed.”
· “And you know what? The same thing can happen with you!”
· “In your life, you will be in bad situations sometimes. You will be in unfair situations sometimes.”
· “You may not be able to do much about the bad situation, but you can choose your attitude.”
· “If you choose to keep trusting in God when things are bad, He will bless you and everything and everyone around you!”
· “When someone has a great attitude in a bad situation, it really gets peoples’ attention.”
· “They wonder why you have such a great attitude, and they will probably even ask you about it.”
· “When they do, that is your opportunity to tell them about how wonderful God is and how you can trust in him to use ALL things in your life for your benefit.” (Have volunteer read Romans 8:28.)
· “So, everyone try to be like Joseph in Potiphar’s house – keep doing your best and trusting in God, and then watch and see how He will bless you and those around you!”