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Focus Verses: Genesis 31:45-49
45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 He said to his relatives, "Gather some stones." So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me today." That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah, because he said, "May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other."
difficult to navigate through the changes in life. Laban and Jacob had
both cheated and benefited each other. They needed each other, but
they both wanted to be free from each other too. Now they were at a
decisive point of separation.
Neither one of them fully
trusted each other (with good reason), but they promised each other,
before God, that neither of them would harm the other. Jacob would take
care of Laban's daughters and grandchildren. Laban would release,
pursue them no further, and do them no wrong. As a sign and a reminder
of their promises to each other, Jacob and Laban made a pile of stones.
Response and Action:
lives are bound up and interwoven with the lives of others, but there
are times when we must face and accept changes in those relationships.
Our children grow up and leave home and start making their own choices
and living by their own values. Our friendships go through changes
because our life circumstances change (jobs, health, location,
Ultimately, we have to live our own lives
before God. We all need to commit ourselves to be good to each other
and trust God to keep watch over us. I need to yield myself to God and
trust him with the changes in my life instead of trying to control
things beyond my control.
Rather than allowing the changes of
life to destroy relationships, I want to accept changes, to trust
others, and to trust God. When I reach decisive milestones in my
relationships with others, it might be helpful for me to do something
special to mark those changes in order to help me remember them before
God, teach me to trust you with every change in life. Give me a heart
that desires what is best for others. Stop me from taking any action or
saying any word that would destroy a friendship or hurt a
relationship. Help me to treat others with the same grace and freedom I
would want them to treat me. Remind me of your faithfulness and
increase my faith. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 12:17-19
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19
Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for
it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
Relational Masks: Removing the Barriers that Keep Us Apart
by Russell Willingham