Genesis 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
This passage of scripture teaches us that as Christians we should make deliberate efforts at fostering peace in our families and in our communities, whenever and wherever we can. In the above instance there arose an argument over pasture, because the flocks of both Abraham and Lot had multiplied tremendously as a result of God's blessing. It's funny how when families are in poverty they tend to be friends, but when goods increase, enemies are born. However, the issue at hand needed resolution, for it threatened the peace and tranquility of both homes, and thus, in an effort to reach a mutual agreement, Abraham deferred the first choice to the younger Lot, who then searched for the best and most fertile part of the country God had originally promised to Abraham, and left his older uncle to battle with the uphill country.
But Abraham's take on the matter reflects where his priorities were centered, for he showed by his actions and words that he was willing to suffer temporal loss, if by any means it would translate into peace and friendliness amongst themselves as brethren. In other words, what He was saying is that their friendship and familial ties meant more to him than houses and lands, or even temporal advantages. This action on the part of Abraham was therefore recorded in the scriptures for the benefit of future generations, who would be faced with similar or worst circumstances.
Whenever disagreements on temporal possessions arise, such as dividing up the inheritance of parents amongst siblings, the Christian should always be the first to encourage peace by demonstrating a willingness to suffer loss in the temporal realm, in order to preserve the unity, and friendliness which should characterize members of the same family. Instead of fighting for our so-called rights, and dragging each other to court, where the disclosure of sensitive family secrets will be made the sport of strangers, the Christian should be willing to defer his part of the inheritance to those siblings who might be seeking to hoard all they can. Sacred family ties are of far more value than mere temporal possessions, which fade into insignificance when viewed in the greater context of the immortal inheritance.
We therefore end with a passage of scripture which reminds us of the motives and principles which should guide us when dealing with such issues, for in everything that we do, the uniform and consistent implementation of God's word should be seen. Let's read:
Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil".... 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
May The Lord add His blessing to the study and practice of His every word. God bless!