A few days ago I published a post titled Created for Connection, in which we are encouraged to have time to have physical meet with others. That we are meant for relationships and not live lone lives or simply relate with people using a third party media. As we stay and connect with people in various relationships such as family, friends, church, work and other types of relationships, there will be moments where we shall be confronted to make choices in relation to the other. Such choices will either bless others and strengthen our relationships or can create problems in our relationships.
Today in this article, I present to you an article which I find very helpful to me. First published as Baby Competition by the Revolution Church, which I have re-titled Make wise Choices, challenges us to make wise choices that will bless others instead of hurting them. Welcome, let us learn from a tale of two sisters married to a single man.
In Genesis 30 we see that even though Jacob loves Rachel, she is discontent without a baby. When she sees her sister Leah having children, Rachel refuses to wait any longer.
Rachel gave her servant, Bilhah, to Jacob as a wife, and he slept with her. Bilhah became pregnant and presented him with a son. Rachel named him Dan, for she said, “God has vindicated me! He has heard my request and given me a son.” Then Bilhah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a second son. Rachel named him Naphtali, for she said, “I have struggled hard with my sister, and I’m winning!”
Meanwhile, Leah realized that she wasn’t getting pregnant anymore, so she took her servant, Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Soon Zilpah presented him with a son. Leah named him Gad, for she said, “How fortunate I am!” Then Zilpah gave Jacob a second son. And Leah named him Asher, for she said, “What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me.” (Genesis 30:4-13)
Rachel and Leah were competing in an arrogant contest. Racing to have more children, they both gave their servants to Jacob as concubines. This was an accepted custom of the day, but Jacob would have been wise to refuse. He was perpetuating bad relationships between the women. The fact that a custom is socially acceptable does not mean it is wise or beneficial.
There are many socially acceptable choices that have negative effects on others. Society often prioritizes a person’s freedom to choose above considering the impact those choices have on others.
The choices of Jacob and his wives resulted in bitterness, anger, resentment, and jealousy among their sons. The rivalry and fighting between Leah’s sons and Rachel’s sons continued years later among the tribes that descended from them.
Think about how your choices might affect others. Will you help them or hurt them? Are you willing to give up some of your freedom to ensure that others do not suffer harm? Are you willing to go a step further and do something that will benefit them?
Then rest your decision on the Lord and act accordingly and the Lord will reward you greatly for your obedience and wise action. Amen