Monday, January 4, 2010

Keeping the Peace

Yearly Reading: Genesis 12-15

Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herders and my herders for we are kindred. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left."
Genesis 13:8-9 NRSV

Abram knows how to keep the peace.

Abram's staff and Lot's staff were not getting along. There were too many bodies in too little space.

But Abram is the elder, the uncle. He could have told Lot where to go or demanded some sort of agreement from him in order to preserve order. The land is really big and there is plenty of room for both of them. The two households could easily spread out. Abram had every right to tell Lot to move somewhere else or to move his own household to the choicest land.

Instead, Abram sees an opportunity to truly keep the peace. He does not choose the best of the land for himself. He lets Lot do the choosing. Rather than see only one possibility and selecting the best in a highly selfish manoeuver, Abram allows Lot to be part of the decision. He gives Lot free will. He lets Lot make the choice.

Lot, of course, chooses a prime piece of property. Abram abides with the decision. And it is Abram who ends up the winner in the entire deal. Abram's own peace-keeping style has far-reaching benefits.

How are your peace-keeping efforts? Are you willing to give someone else the right to choose and to abide by their decision?

God, you call us to be peace-keepers but it is a really hard thing to do! We would rather look out for ourselves and choose the best for us. You would rather we hand over the decisions to someone else and abide with the results. We cannot see the blessings you would give us if we do. Help us to be peace-keepers, Lord. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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