My brothers and sisters in Christ and The Mystical Order we praise the Lord for all His love and goodness towards us even in our worst state.I thank God today for His word and the many people that surround me day after day. But today we are searching the scriptures for the truth in the word of God and see how we can apply it to our lives. Let us turn to the Book of Genesis for our scripture reading. Chapter 13: 8-9
So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers…Let’s part company.”—Genesis 13:8-9
Who said that if only you were rich, you would not have problems? Even the rich are not exempted from conflicts. Well that is a myth and we see it is a false claim right before our very eyes.
One of the basic laws of supply and demands states that “[i] if demand increases and supply remains unchanged, a shortage occurs.” When Abram left Egypt with his wife, he came away with everything that he had acquired—sheep, cattle, male and female donkeys, camels, menservants and maidservants. Lot joined with them. (Genesis 12:16; 13:1-2) Lot also had his own flocks and herds and tents. Abram came back to the place between Bethel and Ai, where he had first built an altar and called on the Name of the Lord. With more combined numbers of flocks and herds and servants, the demands for food, water and space also increased, but the supplies could not keep up with the demands (Genesis 13:6). The land may have just been recovering possibly from a drought that caused the severe famine. Besides, there were also other people living in the area. There was competition for limited resources.
[ii]Competition arises whenever at least two parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared or which is desired individually but not in sharing and cooperation. With limited resources, quarreling arose between Abram’s herdsmen and the herdsmen of Lot. (v.7) Quarreling arose over who should graze over a particular area, over whose herds would be watered by a particular spring or well, among other things. Both sides may have valid claims over areas of conflict. James 4:1-3 raises some questions about quarreling. “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle among you? …You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” This is a serious lesson from James and we should pay attention. The problem some people came with absolutely nothing and they want to leave with everything. You give “an inch and they take a foot”. They had nothing and want a whole church, they want to lead and “run things” and have no knowledge how to start far less finish. So the quarrel arose and possible a fight breaks out.
Before the issue broke out of control, Abram stepped up and talked with Lot. “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers.” (v.8) Why did Abram talk directly with Lot, and not on Lot’s herdsmen? Lot had direct authority over his herdsmen, and, so was Abram. Abram must have realized that the conflict between the herdsmen could also mean and end up a conflict also between him and Lot, masters and owners of the herdsmen. What is encouraging to note, though, is that Abram spoke with a resolve to stop or settle the issue. To make his case, Abram pointed out with Lot what they have in common—they were brothers. Just imagine if the issue escalated into a tribal war and Lot died. If God would have to ask Abraham, “Why did this happen to Lot?” could Abraham answer, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Many times in the local church members raise conflict among mother members to get the Leaders and Elders involve. Wisdom will settle the issues and peace will prevail. There must be a resolve with any conflict in the church and leaders must be wise and knowledgeable not stir up anger and quarrel among the members.
Abram did not come with a barrage of fault finding or blaming shifting. Instead of pointing out who’s wrong, he pointed out his finger to a solution, “Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company.” (v.9) Abram was so considerate that he gave Lot the option to make the first choice. “If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the left, I’ll go to the right.” (v.9) You will see my brothers and sisters that there is no need for a fight and tribal war. We need to use good judgement and settle any conflicts before they escalate to the public. I think they use the word today “go viral” meaning on social media. Sometimes one starts trouble because God wants that person out of your life so you can serve Him better. Look around today and see how the devil tries daily to create problems but in the Name of Jesus those weapons that are formed against the children of God will never prosper.
Lot was given the first to choose and he did. “Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar.” (v.10) Lot made his choice. He chose the whole plain of Jordan and set out towards the east. The issue of disagreements among the herdsmen was resolved—through physical separation and by setting physical boundary.
What do we learn from the way Abram and Lot resolved the conflict over limited resources. If you wait for the other party to take the initiative to discuss the issue, you could be waiting indefinitely or until such time that the issue breaks out of control.
- Address the conflict.
- Do not deny or ignore it in the hope that it will be gone when taken for granted.
- The issue may be sidetracked but it will persist if left unresolved.
- When discussing the issue, remind yourselves of the common things that you share, and why you should not be in conflict with one another.
- Look beyond the conflict and see possible options, solutions and points of agreements.
- What other options do you have?
- When discussing options, think highly of others. (Philippians 2:3)
- Give the other party the option to make the first choice.
- Agree on a solution. If you have to agree to disagree, do so in a peaceable manner so that you will not part ways with grudges in your heart. (Acts 15:36-41)
- Are you in a conflict with someone? Don’t wait until the issue spins out of control.
- Take the initiative—go and reconcile. (Matthew 5:23)
- However, if separation is what solves the problem, agree to amicably part ways.
Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head
Follow me on Twitter @ArchbishopGregg
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