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It's a Family Matter

May 07, 2007 06:52 AM EDT

BY Bonnie Ricks

Genesis 13:5-18

Abram was faced with an age-old problem. One of his relatives was causing disharmony. Lot, his nephew, was presenting the first of many problems he would present to Abram. Both Abram and Lot were wealthy. Not only did they have a lot of money, but each of them had many, many possessions... flocks and herds and tents... and lots and lots of people. Lot's herdsmen were getting into fights with Abram's herdsmen, probably over water and grazing land. Considering how many of them there were, and considering the fact that the land was already inhabited by the Canaanites and the Perizzites, things were pretty crowded. There just wasn't enough water and pasture for everyone.

As the oldest, Abram had every right to tell Lot to pack up his tents and get out of Dodge. Abram had every right to choose what appeared to be the prime land and give the leftovers to Lot. But Abram was more interested in preserving peace in the family than in getting his own way. His faith in God's providence was much stronger than his fear of being cheated. So he left the choice up to Lot. "There's not enough room in this town for both of us," he said. "So Lot, you pick the land where you want to live, and I'll take what's left." Lot's stupidity and greed would be shown over and over again as time went by, and it displayed itself here when he chose the plain of Jordan. It was well watered. It looked like a garden. It had to be the best and most valuable land. What Lot didn't foresee was that little incident at Sodom and Gomorrah that would happen later on down the road.

When faced with a family dispute, we need to follow Abram's example. First, be the one to step forward and do something to solve the situation. Take the lead in settling the dispute. Then, allow the other person to have first choice in what can be done to solve the problem, even if it means not getting what you want. Remember, peace in the family is much more important than satisfying our own desires. Like Abram, give the other person his or her choice, and leave the outcome to God.

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