“And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.” (Genesis 13:5–7, ESV)
And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock.With God’s blessings come unique difficulties. Sometimes, it’s jealousy from others. At other times, we have to deal with the rigors of our excess and a shallow personal character, which often manifests in selfishness.
And then there are those times when there’s just not enough room for you anymore. God can, and does, use our prosperity to both stretch and move us. While this success was at the cost of Sarai’s dignity, the fact was that, “for her sake [Pharaoh] dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.” (Genesis 12:16, ESV)
Once Abram had returned to Bethel with Lot, their enormous wealth began to wear through the family bonds quickly. Each one’s herds were suffering and the limited resources were being depleted quickly. This natural recipe for animosity brought the two together. And Abram, the patriarch of the family, made a most unique choice.
In his generosity, Abram said,“Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.”(Genesis 13:8–9, ESV)
When tensions come into our lives, the way to turn them around is to extend a gracious generosity to others first. Faith understands that God will watch over His child when we imitate His merciful and gracious heart. All we have to do is trust and give. God will do the rest.
So today, as you listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit of the indwelling God, ask yourself two simple questions: Whom am I struggling with? How can I be graciously generous to them today?
Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.