17 March 2019
Our choices in life speak a lot about who we are and what we truly believe. Our choices speak louder than words. If our choices and our actions contradict our words, we begin to look like hypocrites. We will lack integrity. People cannot take us at our word. But, if our choices and our actions match our words, we do not just say what we mean but we mean what we say. People will then have to take us seriously. The difference between the choices Abram and Lot make teaches us valuable lessons in making right choices.
Wealth very often drives a wedge dividing families. The circumstances that caused Abram and Lot to separate had to do with their wealth. To be sure, Lot became wealthy as a result of following Abram. They had accumulated much livestock and servants that the land they were living in was unable to accommodate them.
It was Abram who took the initiative first. He knew that the situation was unhealthy. Quarreling is not pleasing to God and would hurt family relationships and their testimony for the LORD. When Abram gave Lot the first choice, he must have guessed that Lot would choose the best for himself. Abram had the right to choose first. God’s blessing to Abram was the source of his wealth. Abram gave up his “first choice” right and allowed Lot to choose. To live a peaceful life is evidence of the mature Christian. The Apostle Paul says it this way – why not rather be wronged? Cheated in relation to disputes involving money and possessions – settle it amongst the Christian community rather than go to court. Pleasing God is more important than exercising personal rights. Abram chose to trust God when he yielded his “first choice” right to his nephew Lot.
Lot should have been grateful to his uncle Abram. He acquired his wealth while he was staying with Abram. Yet, he showed no gratitude. He should have refused to make the first choice as he owed his uncle everything – yet he only cared for himself. He chose the best for himself. He chose to please himself first. The Apostle Paul teaches us to not please ourselves but to please our neighbours for their good and to build them up in their faith (Rom 15:2,3). Even Jesus did not please himself. Lot made his choice by sight, not by faith. He saw what he wanted most – prosperity, comfort, pleasure and status. His desire for success and recognition from the world took precedence over pleasing God
What do we look for first when we make choices in our lives? Do we choose to put our conveniences and our interests first? Or do we choose the path that will bring us close to God by faith? Which of our rights are we prepared to give up for the sake of Jesus? We always need to trust God with the outcome when making the right choices.