1. Application


Genesis 13:1–18 (ESV)

1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.

The action of Abram may teach us one important principle for bringing peace among parties that are in disagreement, whether in families, congregations, or government, or between opposing parties or even nations. This is the principle of selflessness. In resolving disputes, perhaps the mediators should first consider if there is one among the parties in dispute who may have the heart or the mind of Abram, a mind that says, “I am willing to take second preference, to take the lower position.” It is also a mind that accepts that we have competing interests and we must try to find a solution to it. It’s true that separation these days is not always the solution. But the principle is that one comes to the negotiating table in a selfless spirit. This is the spirit that considers the other, that puts the lives of the ordinary people (in the case of governments) ahead of self-interest.1

Perhaps the following words may communicate well the effect of Abram’s humility and conflict resolution:

And then you see something of the work of Christ in Abram…making Abram a peacemaker. And Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers." Is that not something to seek for? When you discover in your own heart so much envy and so much bitterness and when you look at others and you see that they have more than you have and you become jealous and you say, "I wish I had that!" This is a reason to apply to the Lord who knows how to make you like Abraham or let me put it like this…who knows how to make you like Christ—that you’re willing to have the lowest place and you’re willing to have little…as long as you have God. For even if you have little, but you have the Lord…then you have everything!2