Transformation Garden - September 11, 2015


 

Sept 11

And the man (Jacob) increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.

Genesis 30: 43
King James Version

EXPLORATION

“Qualities That Kill – Qualities That Cure”

“Blessed is (she) who does good to others and desires not that others should do (her) good.”

Giles of Assisi

What qualities do I believe help build a strong and happy home environment?

Am I putting these qualities into practice in my home?

“A tree is known by its fruit; a (woman) by (her) deeds.  A good deed is never lost.”

St. Basil

INSPIRATION

“Live in harmony with one another.”

Romans 12: 16
New International Version

For years, Jacob had lived under the rulership of Laban’s household, but after both Leah and Rachel had children, Jacob received a message from God recorded in Genesis 31: 13 (K.J.V.), “I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.”

God had a new plan for Jacob. Instead of living in an environment filled with envy, deceit, favoritism and greed, God wanted Jacob to return to the Promised Land, promising that He would be by Jacob’s side every step of the way.

But before we begin our journey with Jacob back to his homeland, I want to review the four characteristics or qualities that “kill” harmony in a family.

First, we find Jacob walking into a hornet’s nest filled with the greedy ambition of Laban. The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, wrote in Proverbs 30:8 (K.J.V.)… “Give me neither poverty nor riches….” Too bad that Laban didn’t live his life around this wise instruction.

He was a man never satisfied – never generous. We ought to take a lesson from Laban’s unhappy life. As one unknown author wrote: “He who is not contented with what he has would not be contented with what he would like to have.” More accurate words could not have been spoken about Laban. Whenever he got more, he wanted even more. Let us learn, that in the words of Akhenaton, “To be satisfied with little, is the greatest wisdom; and (she) that increaseth (her) riches, increaseth (her) cares; but a contented mind is a hidden treasure, and trouble findeth it not.” A generous heart holds not only a huge amount, but overflows to share with others.

Second, because of Laban’s deceitful trick, substituting one daughter in marriage for another, we find the seeds of dishonesty blooming into a weed garden of living with lies. In Leviticus 19: 11 we are instructed… “Do not deceive one another.” (N.I.V.) And we can certainly see how Laban’s family was turned upside down when truth was not adhered to. We must never forget that as an unknown author so aptly stated: “Truth is the greatest gift of life and love is the exercise of that truth.”

Third, because of his deceitful act, Laban caused serious friction between his daughters. Jacob, at the very beginning had made it clear Rachel was the girl for him, and with another woman in the picture, his feelings for Rachel were not decreased. If anything, Jacob wanted her even more. Favoritism is the wedge that drives one from another while fairness is the glue that binds us one to another.

Fourth, once favoritism drove a wedge, envy walked in to fill the crack. As Jessamyn West so appropriately noted: “Some folk are always thirsting for water from other people’s wells.” And this was the case with Rachel, whom the Bible says: “Envied her sister, Leah,” because she had children and Rachel was unable to conceive.  The Apostle Paul wrote that… “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4: 11, K.J.V.). May we learn, whatever our “lot in life,” to treasure the gift of contentment. As John Balguy points out: “Contentment is a pearl of great price, and whoever procures it at the expense of ten thousand desires makes a wise and happy choice.”

AFFIRMATION

The affirmation today is a song my mother taught my sister and me when we were young girls. My grandmother also taught this song to my mother and her sister when they were young.

When There’s Love At Home

“There is beauty all around,
When there’s love at home;
There is joy in every sound,
When there’s love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide,
Smiling sweet on every side;
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.
Love at home, love at home,
Time doth softly, sweetly glide,
When there’s love at home.”

John H. McNaughton

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

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