RESOLVING a FAMILY problem AMICABLY: Today’s reading in Genesis chapter 13 gives us an interesting perspective about how a family problem was resolved amicably. The problem occurred because of a quarrel between the servants of Abraham and Lot due to their inability to live together. Jesus has taught us a spiritual principle that I believe Abraham also understood that a "…house divided against itself shall not stand" (Matt 12:25), therefore the time had come for him and Lot to separate as families. Abraham had understood the root of the problem: “the land was not able to support them that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together” (Gen 13:6).
The steps that Abraham took to resolve this problem (Gen. 13: 8-9) were as follows:
- He took the initiative to speak directly to his nephew (taking charge of resolving the problem)
- He expressed his desire to end the quarrel immediately explaining to Lot in Gen. 13:8: “for we are brethren” (showing clear and direct communication). He must have been distinctly aware that Canaanites and Perizzites lived in their neighborhood (Gen. 13:7b) and he did not want his neighbors to know about their family quarrel.
- His suggestion was that he and Lot should separate immediately (offering a win-win solution)
- He offered the choice of the land to Lot (displaying humility). Philippians 2:3 says: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”