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Struggling with Strife


Genesis 13:8 – And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee…for we be brethren.

Everyone has to deal with strife. It may be at home with a spouse or kids, at work with an employer or employee, at family functions with brothers and sisters, or at church.

Scripture says, “Only by pride cometh contention” (Prov. 13:10). Strife originates from pride and envy. Failure to resolve strife breeds more controversy and conflict.

Abram did three things to resolve strife with his nephew. First he faced the problem (vs. 8). He went to Lot and addressed the issue of conflict. He knew pretending everything was okay would only make things worse. He was willing to confront his nephew even though it was uncomfortable. He wanted to stop it before it spread and ruined their testimony among the heathen (vs. 7).

He was also willing to compromise (vs. 9). Instead of pointing fingers and stirring up strife he gave Lot first choice of the land. Abram chose the honorable way (Prov. 20:3) exemplifying Paul’s admonition, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” (Rom. 12:10)

Finally, he didn’t hold a grudge after they came to an agreement. When Lot was in trouble it was Abram who came to the rescue (Gen. 14). But we never read of Abram vilifying Lot for his ill choices, rather he prayed for him (Gen. 18).

I have heard that if horses are attacked in the wild, they will group up together facing inward so they can kick the enemy. Donkeys however do just the opposite; they face the enemy and kick each other! We shouldn’t react like donkeys! Vance Havner said, “Some fights are lost even when you win. A bulldog can whip a skunk, but is it worth it!”

“Let there be no strife, I pray thee…” Amen?