Sunday, January 15, 2017
JANUARY 15 "ARE YOU IN A DYSFUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP?"
Jacob finally ventures out after twenty years. Jacob goes on a tirade and just lets it all out on Laban, this man that has practically ruined his life. Twenty years of Jacob’s life went by under Laban. It’s hard to believe isn’t it? Or maybe not! How easily we can be in a rut and how easily we can allow 5, 10, 15 years of our lives to slip by. I think the lesson learned here is we need to be wise who we allow ourselves to associate with. We know the quagmire can be that as Christians we are reaching out to anyone and can find ourselves in some dysfunctional relationships due to that, but we must separate the ministry of outreach from our personnel lives or we will be of no use to anyone. There is a difference between those I am reaching out to help as apposed to those that I “purposely” surround myself with in friendship and fellowship. We don’t pick who we reach out too, but we should pick very carefully who we associate ourselves with. I've seen many people that were not taken out by drugs or immorality, but by those they allowed themselves to be associated with; and these had nothing to do with outreach and evangelism either. They were the people they chose to be around in their personnel time. One person, one family can be all it takes. It doesn't matter if we are righteous and living for God, associating with people like this we still mess up your life. We know that Jacob is a righteous man living for God, but his encounter with this devious man, Laban has dramatically messed up his life. No doubt we read, and Jacob confesses “that if it were not for God he would have left with nothing” but we still see, that there has been plenty of deception, betrayal and hard times in his past 20 years and neither has Jacob been where he wanted to be. It’s been a rut he has been in for far too long. We get a revelation of the craziness of this man when he confronts Jacob after chasing him down. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and Laban speaks out of his heart, “all you have is mine!” This is insanity, 20 years Jacob has honored his commitment to work for Laban for what he has, but Laban’s mind, “it’s all his regardless”. What Jacob realizes now is that Laban would have never let him go.
The evidence is perfectly clear, that you may be living for God, but who you choose to associate with or not associate with, will affect your life, regardless! Not only is this a testimony to us but also the numerous amounts of Christians that I have personally witnessed over the years that would not discern who they associated with. I feel bad for people where that unhealthy relationship in their life is actually their spouse, that is a complex situation, but most often in life, it’s not a spouse that we are tied or committed too in a vow, but rather someone we are choosing to associate with when we have the choice to flee as Jacob finally does. Jacob’s life does not “take off” until he flees from Laban. Once he is out of this relationship we see Jacob flourishing on into his destiny with God. Often the “red flags” are there for us to see, we just don’t want to see them. Jacob should have known he was not dealing with a man in his right mind, or at least we can say, he should have known he was not dealing with an “honorable man” when Laban secretly switched Leah for Rachel in the dark of the night and then forced Jacob to work for him another 7 years of his life for the woman he really wanted and loved. Laban was a man of deceit, broken promises, hidden agenda’s and I know plenty of people today, who choose to associate themselves, as Christians, with the same people of faulty character and their lives are not going any smoother than Jacob’s. We want God to save us, we are often waiting for some big miracle, but the only miracle needed here was for Jacob to realize one day, that the only problem in his life was the association with Laban and if he would believe in God to venture out, he could be free once again to serve God and live to enjoy the fruits that come with doing so, which is peace and joy. Something he never had with Laban. Will you venture out!