3rd January 2019

Peace or Strife? 

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Romans 12:18 (NIV)

Abram was not perfect. He lied in Egypt about Sarai, his wife, and caused no end of distress by saying that she was his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). Eventually they were thrown out of Egypt and Abram took his nephew Lot and all their flocks and herds to Canaan (Genesis 13:1-5). It is here that despite Abram’s faults, we see a generous and ethical side to his behaviour.

The area where they were couldn’t support both Abram’s and Lot’s animals and people, and so quarrelling broke out between the two groups (verses 6-7). Abram didn’t want strife between him and his brother’s son; his interest was in peace. This leads him to make a magnanimous suggestion—that he and Lot take their animals and people and part company so that the conflict between them would end. Abram poses this suggestion in a very unselfish manner, allowing Lot to choose which direction he will go (verses 8-9). Although Abram is the elder and the one with the authority and power, he submits to the younger man, and rather than insisting on the best land for himself, he gives Lot the choice. Lot looks at the well-watered valley of the river Jordan and sets out towards the east for a grazing area for his flocks (verses 10-11).

In this story Abram was very conscious of the possibility of strife and peacefully resolved it by graciously giving Lot the first choice. Such situations regularly confront us as we live out our daily lives. It can be very difficult to choose the way of peace and to submit to others over getting our way especially when we are in authority or have power over someone else. But just think how much strife, animosity and heartache could be avoided if people were willing to yield to the choices of others for the sake of peace where doing so is inconsequential and would cause no harm.

A famous person once said ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ (Matthew 5:9) – that would be following Abram’s example. A famous song says, ‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me’ – that would be a very good place to start. Let’s resolve in the New Year to bring peace, not strife.

Prayer
Father, through the power of your Holy Spirit may I be a peacemaker. May I extend, promote, and encourage peace in every encounter I have today and every day. May your peace reign in my heart now and for evermore.
Amen

Study by Barry Robinson

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About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International Central London
Indian YMCA
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:   london@gracecom.church

 

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