When [Hagar] knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering.” Genesis 16:4-5
Read: Genesis 16:4-6
Listen: Genesis 16
Hagar is pregnant, usually great news and cause for celebration. But celebration has been replaced with conflict. Sarai is jealous because her status is downgraded while Hagar’s is elevated. Hagar is arrogant because she’s carrying the “child of promise” (so they thought), and Sarai isn’t. Sarai blames everything on Abram. Abram is passive as his frustration mounts. All this leads to a severe conflict, and everyone involved is out of line. No one is honoring or trusting God. Everyone’s response results from a lack of trust.
Staking our happiness on achievement, performance or acquisition often leads to shortcuts. Shortcuts result in consequences. We each have a relational “default” in situations like these. It can be arrogance and superiority (like Hagar), accusation and blame (like Sarai), or passivity and disengagement (like Abram). When shortcuts fail to deliver, and we’re no longer trusting God, it brings out the worst.
This story allows us to learn from the mistakes of everyone involved. Instead of arrogance, we can choose humility. Instead of blame, we can choose understanding. Instead of passivity, we can choose engagement. Ultimately, we must choose to trust in God and respond in the power of the Holy Spirit.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Determine your relational “default.” When conflict arises, how do you typically respond? Do you identify more with Hagar, Sarai or Abram? Ask God to help you respond in a way that shows you trust him as you face challenges ahead.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.