THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS
A father had caught his young son in a lie.
He determined to punish the boy, but made it a point of prayer.
God convicted the father's heart because he was a sinner too, and God - his Father - had always been compassionate with him.
When he went into the boy's room to talk to him about punishment, he broke down and cried.
The boy's heart was also broken, and he cried out, "Father, whip me as much as you like. Only PLEASE don't cry!"
1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory.
2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
3 And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.
Jacob heard what Laban's sons said, but he checked Laban's attitude personally.
Anytime we hear that someone may have something against us, we should go personally to that person.
Jesus said, "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matt 18:15-17)
The Old Testament speaks to this problem also: "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD." (Lev 19:18)
Problems between Christian people DO happen.
Most of the time however, they can be worked out, if the parties involved will just sit down and talk in the love of Christ.
The procedure Jesus outlined maintains relationships.
It also maintains a cooperative spirit and purity in the church family. Keep in mind, that the procedure Jesus outlined is between believers.
In the instance above, Laban was evidently not a true believer.
For (as we read in the next few verses) he had "images" which he worshipped.
When believers cannot work out differences between unbelievers, it is best to maintain distance.
And, in this case, God specifically called Jacob to move away.
Have you come to point in your relationship with God,
that you trust ALL your relationships with other people to HIM?