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THE LABAN SYSTEM

by Katopeka Nkhoma  
3/21/2017 / Career


 

ïAs said earlier work is not a curse, it is a responsibility and a blessing that should be enjoyed. The first thing we need to notice is that Adam was not working for anyone, he was working for himself. In other words you need to reach a level where you are independent enough to work your own garden in life, a place where you know that all your efforts are for the sake of you and your family. This is what we usually term a business. According to God’s plan we were all supposed to be tending our own gardens here on earth. 
 
Each of us should have a project or business we call our own.
 


  Am I saying it is wrong to be employed? Not at all. It is good to be employed. So what am I saying? Am I contradicting myself? Let us look at another biblical example that will give us more clarity.
THE LABAN SYSTEM
   Jacob was an ordinary person like us, nothing special about him. Like most people he needed to earn an honest living in order to survive and meet his needs. Like most people he looked for a job and fortunately, or unfortunately, he got a job with his uncle Laban. And Jacob being the honest, hardworking Christian he was, did his job diligently; sacrificing his time and effort like most people. Fortunately for Jacob he understood what God meant by work. He understood that he needed his own garden.
Genesis 30:25-26 (K.J.V)
 
And it came to pass, when Rachel had born Joseph, that Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to mine own place, and to my country. Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go, for you know my service which I have done for thee.
  
 Jacob understood that formal employment was just meant for a season. Formal employment is just for a season, it should be a stepping stone to your own garden. A time should come when you should be able to say to your employers, “Send me away, that I may go to my own place.”

Unfortunately many people can never reach this stage because of what I call the Laban System.
Genesis 31:41
 
Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times.
   Jacob served in Laban’s garden twenty years for two important things: his wives and his own garden, that is, the livestock he went away with. Formal employment is good but it must not take your lifetime. You need to be able to serve in someone else’s garden for a season that will allow you the opportunity and ability to start your own garden (business or income generating project). 
   Unfortunately for many, they are serving Laban and thus working under the Laban System. It was not Laban’s will for Jacob to go. To prevent him from going, he kept on changing Jacob’s wages. Laban knew that Jacob’s labor was profiting him immensely, just as your employer knows that your labor is very valuable. Because of this he wanted to trap him in his garden. It is the same system the world is running on today. 
Many are trapped in formal employment till the day they retire. The Laban System does not allow them to work their own gardens. Jacob had to forcefully remove himself from this system in order to go to his own place. We too need to use force to reject the Laban System and establish our own gardens.
In our days the Laban System is very shrewd in the way it traps people, it offers them pensions and other "staying incentives". In extreme cases it binds them with certain clauses in contracts. I am not against the pension system as a whole; I think it is a good idea for those who are willing to be formally employed for the rest of their lives. The problem I have with the pension system is that it was designed to keep people serving Laban. It creates a false sense of security about one’s future. A closer look at this system will reveal that it does not work. Most retirees who retire on a pension live way below the poverty level. The pension does not meet all their needs and they die early because of stress and frustration. But Laban does not care because he has already used your strength to prosper himself. 
The other reason I do not like the pension system is that it stifles the dreamer within us. It is because of the dreams of a pension that many stop dreaming of tending their own garden. “Why bother?” they ask. “After all I will be getting a pension.” This attitude kills creativity and a beautiful garden needs creativity.
   The Laban System is the system the world is using because the few wealthy people who are running the world want to keep others from getting to the top. The truth is that if all the money in the world were to be divided equally among everyone in the world each of us would be worth US$3 million. Incredible but true. Yet this is a reality to those who are willing to break out of the system. For other people that money is small change so why limit ourselves to where we are?
In short all I have been trying to say is summed up in the words of Mark Anastasi: “A JOB IS ONLY A SHORT TERM SOLUTION TO A LONG TERM PROBLEM”. Get a job but keep dreaming and creating your own garden, your own business. Even Jesus made mention of this in His teachings.
Luke 16:12
 
And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
  This statement implies that after you have faithfully served in someone else’s garden, a time should come when you are to be given your own. That is the blueprint of heaven.
BACK TO WORK!

   Have you ever noticed that the people who labor extremely hard labor for those sitting in chairs? Do you know that toilers toil for those who tend? This is because those who tend know their place in the garden and employ their gifts. Because they employ their gifts God blesses them and when God blesses them they employ the toilers, those who do not know their place and gifts, and therefore end up working anywhere. The result is that the tenders end up tending larger places; God enlarges their territory and thus the blessings increase. God prospers the tenders and that is a fact. That is why the rich get richer and the poor poorer. The toilers lose their portion of the garden and its blessings to the tenders. In the parable of the talents the servant that was cast out into the outer darkness was cast out because he was unprofitable (Matthew 25:30) and his lot was given to the one who was profitable. God is concerned about our profitability; it is one of the major things that is on His heart. 
  Toilers are enemies of the cross because they do not work under the laws of God. They do not utilize the covenant that Jesus Christ died to bring into effect. They work under the system of the fall and not under grace.
Ecclesiastes 10:15
 
The labor of the foolish wearies everyone of them, because he knows not how to go to the city.
   May this not be your portion as you work. May you enjoy the fruit of your labor and find the city of prosperity. Toiling is foolishness, for all you will be doing will be in vain. Toiling will get you nowhere.
Which of the two are you? Are you a tender or a toiler? 
Praise be to Jesus for redeeming us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).We can now move back from toiling to tending. We can start enjoying our work and our work being extremely fruitful. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and savior not only do we move from being toilers to tenders but God also heals the land that we are on, turning our toil into sweet tending.
The power to work is the power to get wealth, for without work one cannot get wealth.

Kato Nkhoma is a seasoned Pastor with circa 15 years under his belt. He is also a prolific teacher of the word, author and freelance writer. A husband to 1wife and father of 2 amazing children makes him a happy family man.

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