Genesis 31:38-42: Telling it like it is.

“38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. 40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”NIV

Maybe Jacob cast himself in the best light possible, but it is an insight into his suffering under the hand of Laban. He was put into a furnace, but God had a purpose for him being there. He was in a refining process and the Lord was changing him.

That didn’t justify Laban’s dodgy behaviour though, and there is a time for laying it on the line; for telling someone the unpalatable and (maybe) unwanted truth. May God give us courage for direct speech when it is necessary, and wisdom to know the right time and the correct way. Truth delivered badly may not receive the hearing we would wish.

When people treat you unfairly, remember that God knows and cares, and He is able to intervene. We have seen this before, and it’s good to be reminded afresh this day, because it’s a tough world out there.