When you read this story, what may first stand out is Laban cheating Jacob and denying him and Rachel their marriage at the end of the long 7-year waiting period after Jacob fulfilled his end of the bargain. There is another victim here, Leah. Can you imagine what it must have felt like to know your husband is really in love with your sister? To know that on your wedding day, your husband was filled with shock and disappointment, instead of joy. Talk about devastation (not to mention family disfunction).
Have you ever felt like second best? Or maybe even third or fourth or fifth best? Perhaps it was growing up in a family where one of your siblings was clearly the favorite. Or maybe you had a boyfriend who just wasn’t ready to settle down (He swore it had nothing to do with you.), then you find out a few months after your break-up, he’s engaged. Or maybe the excitement of your new job waned when you learned that their first choice had turned down the offer. Let’s face it, it does not feel good to come in behind someone else, but I have good news. There is one area where you will come in #1 every…single…time. When God created (fill in your name here), you were his first pick, hands down. He created you, with your unique gifts and talents, exactly as He intended you to be.
Take a moment to think about your gifts and talents. This may be uncomfortable for us sometimes. It may feel braggadocious to claim we are “gifted” in a certain way, however, God does give each of us unique gifts and talents that he wants us to use for His glory. I will get personal for a moment. God has gifted me with a gregarious personality. I know this has benefitted me in my career and even more importantly in relationships. I am blessed with many great friends. I also believe that I have a responsibility in using this gift by reaching out to others, for example, being friendly to someone who looks uncomfortable in a new situation, volunteering as a greeter at church or inviting someone to an event or into my home. Sometimes it may be as simple as bringing joy to someone’s day with a sincere compliment. I frequently tell complete strangers how much I like their hair or their dress, often to my children’s chagrin. (“Mom, do you have to talk to everyone?”)
On another note…if you are currently in a position where someone is constantly making you feel like you don’t measure up, I would recommend you pray about the situation and evaluate where you need to take action. Do you work for a boss who is constantly belittling you? If so, you may want to consider exploring other employment options both inside and outside your company. Are you in a friendship or dating relationship with someone who acts like you are not worthy of them? God calls us to love everyone, however, there may be times where we need to set boundaries or end a toxic relationship. If the person who is making you feel like you are not good enough is your spouse, I know this is an extremely painful place to be. I would suggest addressing this issue, by talking to your spouse to let them know how you feel or seeking marital counseling to try to improve your relationship. Always remember your heavenly Father created you, loves you and welcomes you into His royal family. You are worthy!
1. Have you ever felt like second best? Do you still have pain or feelings of inadequacy because of it? If so, what steps do you need to take to allow healing in this area?
2. Take a moment to list out some of your God-given gifts.
3. How are you using those gifts today?
4. Is God prompting you to use your abilities in a new way?