Have you ever had some difficult conversations with an employer or employee? Have you ever received a review from work that was less than pleasant? Have you had to give a review to an employee that made you feel squeamish?
Having a job, doing adult stuff like managing income, maintaining responsibilities, producing outcomes and paying attention to expectations, all of this stuff and more relates to keeping a job, adulting, etc.
In this blog, we’re looking at the conversations Jacob had with his uncle and employer, Laban. We’re doing this because this is the second part of this blog series that’s looking at the various conversations that Jacob had over the course of his life.
In relation to Jacob’s conversations with Laban, we can make some helpful observations and useful applications. For example, one of the first conversations that we see between Jacob and Laban is the agreement they make for Jacob to work seven years to “earn” the right to marry Laban’s beautiful daughter, Rachel. The short summary of the outcome of this agreement is that Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his “ugly” daughter, Leah, since she was the elder sister to Rachel. In order to marry Rachel, Jacob had to work another seven years for Laban, making a total of fourteen years of employment to acquire two wives, along with their maidservants.
For our purposes, I would suggest that the lesson we could employ from this fiasco is that we maintain our integrity and honor, even if our employer is less than honorable or upstanding. I think that’s what Jacob did in this scenario when Laban was being duplicitous. Let’s be careful that we don’t make choices that reflect low values, even if that’s what our employer is doing.
As we keep looking at Jacob’s conversations with Laban, we see that Jacob made choices to have integrity and recognize his subordination to Laban for about two decades—twenty years. Jacob decided to part ways with Laban after this long time when he received instructions from God to return to his homeland. Along with God’s instructions, Jacob noted that Laban’s sons were cranky with him, and his wives (Laban’s daughters) were very much in favor of moving with Jacob, away from their dad.
All of this was done after Jacob had acquired a significant amount of wealth from Laban’s flocks–in payment for Jacob agreeing to care for the livestock that was property and inheritance for Laban and his sons. I think that it’s important to recognize that Jacob was well established and comfortable in the living and wealth status he had developed over the few decades of working for Laban. It’s possible that Jacob wasn’t too inclined to move back to his homeland, where the last he knew, his twin brother wanted to murder him.
Nevertheless, Jacob remained faithful to God’s directives and set out to move his family and belongings back to his homeland. Even when Laban caught up to him and was cranky with him, Jacob maintained his integrity and recognized that God had protected and prospered him during his time with Laban.
For us, let’s always prioritize following God regardless of the comforts and conveniences we may sacrifice. Let’s also remember that it is God who protects and provides for us so that we don’t get ruffled when there are challenges or changes with our employment. Next week, we’ll look at Jacob’s reunion with his brother to discover some helpful wisdom with navigating siblings and uncertainties.
It’s inspiring to hear how Jacob shows resilient and trust in God, and from today onwards i learned to trust Him in every direction and situation