Laban confronted Jacob in Genesis 31 for stealing his gods when he suddenly left Laban's employment and returned home. While Laban may not have bought Jacob's looks of confusion about the theft, it really was not an act. Jacob didn't have a clue about Laban's accusation.
Jacob's wife, Rachel, stole the gods from her father's house when they were getting ready to leave. It doesn't appear that she told her husband or any other family member. But, as we can see here, dishonesty can come back to haunt us.
Dishonesty within the family
Although Jacob was tired of Laban's mistreatment, choosing to sneak off in the middle of the night was not the best way to deal with the situation. Jacob should have gone to Laban and discussed the problem as an adult. Even if the mutual decision would have been for Jacob and his family to leave, a joint conversation would have allowed the family to part on more friendly terms.
Jacob's decision to sneak off was a form of dishonesty. He was not honest about his feelings. Although the Bible doesn't get into detail, the entire family dynamic could have been compromised. Laban may have decided to harbor ill feelings toward Jacob for leaving in the manner that he did. It may have caused a rift between Laban and his daughters and grandchildren. Family members may have felt forced to choose sides.
Dishonesty in using household money
Not being completely forthcoming with our spouse can have a significant impact on the entire household. When it comes to our finances and joint accounts, each spouse has to be aware of the details.
For instance, withdrawing any amount of money out of the checking account without telling the other spouse may lead to bounced checks. This can lead further to late fees and bounced check fees with creditors, a negative remark on our credit reports, as well as extremely high bank fees. All of these unnecessary fees indicate that we are not being good stewards over our finances.
Buying things without informing our spouses can be troublesome in other ways, too. This is especially the case with larger ticket items. These purchases can throw off a household budget and make it difficult to take care of the family's immediate needs. We have to be disciplined enough to put our family before our own desires.
Dishonesty outside of the home
We cannot overlook the consequences of our dishonesty outside of the home. Taking something that doesn't belong to us may hurt a family member before it hurts us. In this Bible verse, for example, Jacob was wrongly accused of stealing.
Rachel did the crime, yet Jacob had to bear the wrath of his father in law. It is not fair for us to put our family in these kinds of binds. While this one did not lead to an extreme consequence for Jacob, false accusations can lead to much worse today.
Dishonesty may not always be about lying. There can also be consequences for withholding information. As we make decisions each day, let's consider the long-term impact it may have on those we love.