If you can’t deceive yourself,” a philosopher advises, "it will be really hard to deceive others.” The intent seems fictional. But people hypnotize themselves to the rhythm of their own comfort levels. It’s a trance of ignorance and mystery. And it leads to the same emotionally incorrect question the dad asked in the story: "Why is everybody gaining up on me?” It’s a dilemma I like to call when Jacob becomes Job.
Remember Jacob in the Bible? Let’s face it, he started off a
spoiled, crafty, businessman who capitalized on the appetites of others,
literally (Genesis 25:30-31). He
reinforced his mom’s favoritism, tricked his dad out inheritof the blessing,
and arguably bribed God’s favor when times got tough. Recognize that while
Jacob "deceived others,” he never "deceived himself (Genesis 32:10).” When he began to reap what he sowed (wrong wife,
increased labor, wage changes) (Galatians
6:7), Jacob realized why. It was because he, initially, was such a jerk and
deserved it! But the now redeemed Jacob was rewarded with a chance to do two
(1) To escape Laban’s fraudulent, oppressive environment (what goes around...)
(2) To now become an instrument of Karma to his oppressor now! (…comes around.)
Another bible character would’ve loved the guilt-based insight Jacob had. But his ethically innocent profile had no guilt to find. His name was Job. We remember him by his relentless reply, "Blessed be the name of the Lord” during his mysterious suffering. Later God revealed the contest nature.
The Jacobs of today up aren’t in the running for "most improved Christian.” It’s because they’ve switched biblical identities, going from a deceiving Jacob, to a confused Job (Job 4:7). They escape clear across the biblical pages into a predicament of a confused victim to begin their Why Me? Campaign. This is what the doctor in the story would call a defense mechanism: running on the inside from accountability itself. It is this reflex which prevents the redemptive "fruits” of the original Jacob. Again, the once deceiving Jacob never deceived himself, stay redeemable. But these ethical sloths today, allergic to their guilt and its fate, will remain citizens of the politically oppressive Land of Laban until they change (Galatians 6:7).The alternative is to advertise the alleged mystery to others, and therefore multiply doubt toward God’s power. Seriously? People let their pride trump righteousness? This is what happens when Jacob becomes Job.