Grass of Grace
Lot chose for himself all the plain of the Jordan.
A friend came home from holiday to find his neighbour had erected a wooden fence half a metre inside his property boundary. Several weeks went by, during which my friend tried to work with his neighbour to remove the fence. He offered to help and to split the cost of the work, but to no avail. My friend could have appealed to the authorities, but he chose to forgo that right in this instance and allow the fence to stand, in order to show his neighbour something of the grace of God.
My friend's problem, made me think of Abraham and his nephew Lot, who fell into conflict because their flocks and herds overwhelmed the land. “Strife between Abram’s herders and Lot’s (Genesis 13:7). The Canaanites and the Perizzites (the unbelieving community) were also living in the land at that time. Lot chose the best of the land and lost everything in the end. Abraham took what was left over and gained the promised land (v 12–17).
We do have rights, and we can claim them, especially when other’s rights are involved. And sometimes we should insist on them. Paul did when the Sanhedrin acted unlawfully (see Acts 23:1-3). But we can also choose to set them aside to show the world a better way. This is what the Bible calls “meekness”—not weakness. Strength under God’s control.
Dear Lord God Jehovah, When I am prone to look out for myself. Give me wisdom to know when giving up my rights would best demonstrate Your love and grace to others. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.