Sometimes It’s Okay to Run

When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”

6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her. Genesis 16:2-6

It’s no surprise that Abram would be so willing to take Hagar as his wife. Sarai was very desperate for a son and to help God begin fulfilling His promise to her husband.

Unfortunately, almost right away her plan backfired. The slave hated the mistress, and Sarai probably was not at all kind to her slave. And Abram was obedient to his wife at a great cost, namely family peace. Forget for a moment the moral aspects of what transpired here. The three of them could no longer live under one roof.

What a monumental nightmare…of their own making!

Abram conveniently passes the buck to Sarai. Hagar left the safety and comfort of a home to wander. She felt she could no longer stay under the same roof as her abusive mistress.

Not every situation is as extreme as Hagar’s but we often find ourselves in abusive and unproductive relationships. That could be a boss, a co-worker, or even a family member. They are all difficult situations for different reasons.

About six months ago I interviewed for a position for a small company. The founder and CEO had the reputation as being abusive, loud-mouthed, and just a horrible person to work for. These were very evident in the online reviews of the company from people who had worked there. I had three interviews with people in the company, and every single one started out apologizing or explaining away the bad online reviews. I’m glad I didn’t get the job, and my wife was even happier because she knew that having to put up with such negative and abusive personalities is never a key to success. My first instinct should have been the one I chose. Everything about the position said, “Run fast and don’t look back.” Fortunately the Lord saved me from a disaster.

Some of you are in abusive situations.

You need to reach out quickly to a friend or run away if you can. Seek help while you can.

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