From: David Kabanje
Date: February 4
Subject: GMU: "Bad Karma"

"Bad Karma"

Beautiful People, 

Love is a beautiful thing. It propels us to selflessness. True love compels us to put away our childish attitudes and behaviors (1 Cor. 13:11). Love matures us and creates room for others. Jacob found the love of his life, and she changed everything for him. Remember, Jacob was a homebody, unlike his brother, Esau; however, when he met Rachel, he was eager to work seven years for her hand in marriage. Talk about commitment! It's incredible what we are willing to do for those we love! More importantly, it's amazing how love can change our character and challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves.

 After seven years of work, Laban permitted Jacob to marry his daughter! "So, Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. But in the evening, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob." (Genesis 29:22-23). I don't believe in karma, but I do believe in the biblical idiom, "for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life "(Galatians 6:7-9). The thoughts and actions we plant in our relationships have natural and spiritual consequences. I bring this up because Jacob found Leah and not Rachel when he woke up the following day after the wedding. Angered, he questioned his uncle's actions. 

Laban's response reflects the concept in Galatians 6:7-9. "It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years" (Genesis 29:26-27). Remember how Jacob deceived his father, Isaac? Jacob deceived Isaac when he was blind. The deception happened in darkness where the second-born forced a blessing and played God. Jacob reaped this pain when his uncle deceived him in darkness years later. Part of owning our stories and bringing them to Jesus is recognizing the pain we have inflected to others. When we experience the same pain as others, empathy grows and compels us to go back and reconcile with the hurt party. Jacob's reconciliation with his family came years after; however, we don't have to wait to ask for forgiveness and reconciliation with people we have hurt. Each day, we have an opportunity to extend love, transformational love, that heals and matures relationships.