Our reputation is what people think we are. But character is what we really are. When we take care of our character, our reputation will take care of itself. Character in life is what makes us trustworthy and also helps people to believe in us. Character is very essential both for God to use us as a channel of blessing as well as for our own success in life. As per God’s standard, success without character is not success at all but moral failure. Our thought for reflection this Friday morning is, “Our God Uses Circumstances to Transform Our Character.”
When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”
Jacob easily got away when he robbed blessings by deceiving his brother Esau first and later his father Isaac. Those deceptive acts of Jacob were symptoms of his character flaws. Jacob would have continued to manifest the same flaws until God intervened to change his character. Since God had His own divine plans, He was keen to transform Jacob’s character. Jacob was known for two serious character flaws.
1. Manipulated others for own advantage.
In Genesis 25:29 Jacob tricked his brother Esau when he was hungry. By manipulating his brother’s vulnerable situation he robbed him of his birth right. Jacob must have thought that he was smarter than Esau and that was the reason why he managed to manipulate him. But in Genesis 29:20 we read that Laban seeing that Jacob loved Rachel, manipulated him by making him work for seven years without paying him any salary. Did not God allow the manipulator Jacob to be manipulated by Laban in order to make him realize his character flaw?
2. Deceived others for own advantage.
Jacob who deceived his father Isaac and robbed Esau’s blessings in Genesis 27:23 was terribly deceived by Laban in Genesis 29:25. Laban ensured that his less attractive elder daughter Leah was married first to Jacob. He later forced Jacob to work for another seven years in exchange for his marriage to younger daughter Rachel (Genesis 29:30). Did not God permit the deceiver Jacob to be deceived in order to make him understand how one would feel when he was deceived by another?
Don’t we often justify our own character flaws when we are the beneficiaries but complain only when it negatively affects our own interests? Rev Rick Warren says,
“God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to develop our character.”
Do we feel manipulated or deceived by others? Is God trying to use those situations to transform our character? Let’s pray:
“Dear Lord, I do feel manipulated and deceived when people take advantage of me. I believe you are trying to make me realize my character flaws. Help me to realize my own character flaws. Transform my character so that I can become a vessel in your holy hands and a channel of blessing to others. In Jesus’ name,... Amen!”