- Gen. 29:1-30:43
When Jacob fled his home for fear of Esau he went east until he found his uncle Laban’s family. Laban welcomed Jacob into his home. After a month Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” (Gen. 29:15) Jacob loved Rachel, one of Laban’s two daughters, so he replied to Laban that he would work seven years for him if Laban would give Rachel to Jacob as his wife. Laban agreed, and the time passed very quickly to Jacob. But on Jacob’s wedding night Laban secretly sent his older daughter, Leah, to Jacob rather than Rachel.
When Jacob discovered Laban’s trick he was furious! Laban responded that in their culture the oldest daughter must marry first. Then Laban offered to give Rachel to Jacob also if he would work another seven years for him. Jacob agreed and worked seven more years in order to marry Rachel, whom he truly loved.
This was not the only time Laban was dishonest with Jacob. Gen. 31:7 says that Laban deceived Jacob and changed his wages ten times! Yet we never read of Jacob mistreating Laban or “getting even” with him for all of this dishonesty.
There are a lot of dishonest people in the world. No doubt you will meet many of them throughout your life. GOD tells us a lot about how we are to respond when people mistreat us.
Repay no one evil for evil.
(Rom. 12:17a NKJV)
Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
(Luke 6:27b-28 NKJV)
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
(1 Pet. 4:16 NKJV)
When bad things happen to us we have a choice. We can get angry and treat them like they treated us, or we can choose to respond kindly and not allow what they did to us to get us down. Satan wants us to mistreat others, but GOD would have us be kind no matter what happens to us.
As former college football coach Lou Holtz has famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond.”