CONSIDER HIS BEHAVIORAL PATTERN!
Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? Genesis 31:27
Jacob and his wives snuck away from Laban’s camp and headed back to Canaan. They did it while Laban and his sons were thirty miles away so that making an exit was feasible. Laban came home, discovered them gone and pursued them. He was angry and accused them of leaving secretly and foregoing a going away party that he would have thrown. Really? Laban had no intention of allowing Jacob to leave. Jacob had been the ‘blessed’ visitor who had brought Laban nothing but wealth and prosperity.
Did Jacob believe Laban’s words that were intended to produce guilt and perhaps a change of mind? And what happens when a less-than-true person tries to manipulate you? Do you give them the benefit of the doubt without applying spiritual discernment?
For much of my early life, I took people at their word. Oh, how I paid! Repeatedly! I simply had no training from my home of origin on reading people. If they said they were trustworthy, I believed them. No wonder so much of my teaching now focuses on wisdom and discernment. God would not have us live as lambs to the slaughter. Proverbs, just one book that makes up the scriptures, is full of warnings about trusting the wrong people.
How can you tell today who is sincere? Should you just believe the person who claims they are in earnest? I must always start with the other’s behavioral patterns. Their track record. What kind of history have they built in the past? If change is sincere, there will be a trail to prove it.
Many have run home to a marriage partner and put themselves in an unsafe environment all because they were charmed into doing it. Jesus would never have us love peace more than we love truth. He teaches us to be discerners of spirits if we are willing to sit at His feet and learn. There are Labans among us; out to feed their appetites for greed, power and control. No child of God should enable such behavior by being the kind of peacemaker Jesus was not.
For the one who is poised today to make a decision about a troublesome relationship, make them spiritually street smart. Just like You, Jesus. Amen
Journal Question: Have you been one who has been easily fooled by a certain kind of person? Isolate the lies you believed and ask God to show you why you needed to believe them. What would be the fallout if you no longer caved to their arguments?