“Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn’t you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps?” Genesis 31:27 (NLT)
The pattern of deception and manipulation we’ve seen within the family system of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob continues to escalate between Jacob and his Uncle Laban. It finally breaks the relationship. Jacob sneaks off in the middle of the night. When Laban asks the question above, the unspoken answer is obvious. Jacob doesn’t trust Laban because Laban has proven untrustworthy. Laban doesn’t trust Jacob because Jacob isn’t trustworthy. There can no longer be relationship between them because the foundation of relationship has been destroyed. There is no mutual trust on which to build life together.
Honesty and trust are critical to a healthy, growing relationship. Deception and passive aggressive manipulation will eventually make any kind of intimacy untenable.
Today, I’m reminded of my responsibility in the circles of relationship and influence around me. I cannot control others, but I must control my own actions and manage my end of relationships. That responsibility includes my being appropriately honest, transparent and worthy of another person’s trust. It also includes the responsibility to set boundaries between me and others when it is necessary to protect myself, my loved ones and others from relational harm.