It’s almost time for another wedding.
Jacob is about to meet Rachel!
But first, a small story with a big lesson.
… Jacob comes to a well. And sees a group of shepherds. (Genesis, 29:1-8)
And says to them, “My brothers, where are you from?”
He wanted to know if they knew his mother’s family.
Then Jacob says, “Look, its still broad daylight. Not yet time to bring the livestock in.
Water the sheep and go on grazing.”
It seems that Jacob thought they were goofing off on the job.
So he reminded them that they had a job to do.
… It seems strange.
Jacob was a total stranger.
Was it appropriate for him to mix in?
Are they likely to listen to a stranger?
I would have expected them to say, “Just who do you think you are?
Mind your own business!”
But they don’t seem to take offense.
… The key is in two small words. That say a lot.
It was the way Jacob greeted them.
With warmth. And with love.
He wasn’t looking to put them down.
But he cared about them.
He called them brothers. He meant it.
And they sensed it.
To their credit, they didn’t take offense.
Because people can accept criticism if they see that it comes from love.
But if we can’t correct out of love?
Or if the other person won’t see that it comes from love?
Then Jewish tradition says, don’t try it.
They won’t listen. And you’ll just make things worse!
… This is an important lesson for all relationships.
… But sometimes it’s not so clear.
How can we be sure that the love will be seen?
Here’s one thing that can help.
If we’re about to say “It goes without saying, that I’m saying this out of love?”
Because if it really went without saying?
We wouldn’t have to say it!
All the best,