Is Winning Always Everything?

Genesis 13: 8-11 –Then Abram said to Lot, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, since we are relatives.  Isn’t the whole land before you? Separate from me: if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left. Lot looked out and saw that the entire Jordan Valley as far as Zoar was well watered everywhere like the Lord’s garden and the land of Egypt. This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. So Lot chose the entire Jordan Valley for himself.

Genesis 13: 14-17 – After Lot had separated from him, the Lord said to Abram, “Look from the place where you are. Look north and south, east and west, for I will give you and your offspring forever all the land that you see. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust of the earth, then your offspring could be counted.  Get up and walk around the land, through its length and width, for I will give it to you.”  

 

traffic Sometimes relationships collide. Sometimes the colliding is reminiscent of a small fender bender. Sometimes it is major smash-up. But, no matter what, when humans are dealing with other humans, we are going to collide at some point. We are going to have conflicts and disagreements. Sometimes we need to stand our ground, but often times exercising humility can bring resolution.   Genesis 13:2 tells us that Abram had done very well financially while he was in Egypt, but he had left Egypt and moved to Negev and then to Bethel with his wife, his nephew Lot, and all of their entourage. Then relationships began to collide! Abram knows that he needs to do something to bring resolution. He is the head of this group so he can pretty much do whatever he wants and Lot will have to take what he gets, but Abram decides it’s not worth the fight. In verses 8-9 he tells Lot to choose whatever land he wants. Lot looks over the Jordan Valley, sees food, fresh water, and fun! Did Lot see all of this and then say to Abram “no, it’s too much” or “let’s share”? No, he “calls dibs – mine, all mine”. Abram had lived around Lot and had to know Lot’s way of thinking, but Abram was willing to sacrifice to avoid conflict. God speaks to Abram in verses 14 – 17 and tells him to look around, walk around, and see it all. I don’t know why You did that, Lord – maybe to get Abram to focus on what he gained not what he lost. I ask You to speak to me when I find myself in conflict and help me bypass the win-or-lose attitude. Help me to focus on the end result, to evaluate what really matters. Society teaches us that laying aside differences is a sign of weakness, but Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). A peacemaker lets go of the petty stuff, is the first to apologize, talks calmly instead of yelling. Lord, You are the ultimate peacemaker. Help me to keep my eyes on You in difficult circumstances and to bring peace to conflict.

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