“Let there be no strife between you and me…for we are brothers.” Ge 13:8 NAS
Family conflict brings out the worst and the best in all of us. But conflict itself isn’t the problem—character is! Conflict just reveals what’s important to us. Abram’s priority was the family; Lot’s was “getting rich.” Abram’s concern was harmony; Lot’s was self-preservation. Abram was driven by his faith; Lot by his greed. Abram was a giver; Lot was a taker. But watch how the story turned out.
(1) What should have happened? The junior partner should have submitted to the senior; the follower should have deferred to the leader; the less-spiritual should have acknowledged the more-spiritual. But Lot failed on all counts!
(2) What could have happened? As the God-appointed leader Abram could have assumed top dog status and enforced his will, but didn’t. He could have been concerned about winning, but wasn’t. He could have called in his debts with Lot, but refused to.
(3) What did happen? First, Abram elevated relationship above personal advantage. Second, he relinquished his “rights” to keep peace in the family. Third, he “turned the other cheek” and deferred to Lot.
The greater gave way to the lesser. The stronger made allowance for the weaker. The mature showed mercy toward the immature. Did it make Abram the weaker man and Lot the stronger? Did Abram lose and Lot win? No! God always has the last word. And it was this: “Look…northward and southward and eastward and westward…all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever” (vv. 14-15 NAS). Doing things God’s way is the sure road to peace and prosperity.