March 29, 2022

When We Choose Peace Over Self-Interests

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 13:9, ESV)

Abram and Lot were standing on a hilltop overlooking some prime real estate. The Scriptures describe it as “good land” and “very good land.” Abram could see the exact place that would be absolutely perfect for him. Even from a distance he knew it was more than enough land for his cattle to graze and roam freely, and even room to expand. Lot waited for his uncle to make his choice first, and he would take whatever Abram did not take. But his uncle surprised him by giving him first choice. He was not prepared for such a great man as Abram to acquiesce to him; to give him the honor of choosing first. Both men were wealthy. The Scriptures say Abram was rich in livestock, in silver and in gold (Gen. 13:2), and they both needed plenty of room for their riches. His uncle could have chosen the “very good land” but Abram decided to choose peace over greed.

It’s not uncommon for those with the most power or clout, the most seniority or who have the right to take the best part for themselves. That’s the kind of world we live in; every person out for themselves; lowest one in the pecking order loses.   

Think of the times in your own life when you were in position to have first choice. Maybe not to the magnitude of Abram over his nephew Lot, but important all the same. Maybe it was something small like your right to pick the movie for family movie night and you gave up your right to choose and to let someone else have their pick. Maybe it was as you looked at the last two Danishes on the tray and you purposely left the one you knew was the favorite of your spouse. So many of the little ways you gave up your right for the benefit of peace or another.

Your daily choices may not get a write up in the local paper, or become a featured news story, may not seem like a big thing, or large sacrifice on your part, but they are important to God. He sees your heart of generosity, recognizes how you had every right to take the best, the biggest, the most convenient, but instead you chose peace over greed or self-satisfaction. God is pleased with that act of humility and generosity, and he will bless you for it. Let’s Pray,

Lord, lead me in the daily decisions and choices I need to make. Help me to have a heart as generous as Abram. May I be as selfless as Abram. Amen

Questions for Examination and Reflection:

Have you ever been in this kind of position where something was your “right” to make first choice? What did you do? How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?

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