Abram and Lot Resolve Family Conflict

Abram and Lot Resolve Family Conflict – How Do You Approach Family Conflicts?

How do you solve conflict? You and I engage in family conflicts frequently (if we are average). To put it mildly, Lot and his Uncle Abram were no different. Today’s Scripture reading from Genesis 13 tells how the story unfolds between two family members.

Their possessions overreached the boundaries where they lived. So, they needed a compromise.

Read the Bible verses and see how Abraham (Abram) solves the situation between Lot and himself. Let’s see how we can use this Old Testament lesson to solve our family conflict situations.

Abram Separates from Lot and Avoids a Family Conflict

So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.

Is not the whole land before you?

Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.”

Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.

So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward. Thus they separated from each other.

Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom. – Genesis 13:8-12 NASB

Where is Canaan?

Canaan was located in the Levant region of the Middle East. At this time, Canaan was the future home of the Israelites and Canaanites. It also became the site of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt.

The land of Canaan was bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Jordan River and the Dead Sea to the east, and Egypt to the south.

It was known for its abundant resources, including timber, oil, and precious metals. It also played an important role in the early spread of Christianity, hosting many of the early Christian churches.

Canaan was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC, but its legacy and influence live on through Scripture.

Abram’s Good Fortune

You know, in all my reading, for some reason I never really thought of Abram as being rich. In fact, I’ve always pictured an old man barely making ends meet. So much for perceptions. Now, on with the lesson..

Abram Makes a Compromise – Lot Wins?

As shown in verses 8 and 9, Abram did not want to make an enemy of his nephew Lot. So, he made a compromise with him and offered Lot the first move. Abram was willing to take a risk of losing everything by giving Lot this generous offer.

On the other hand, Lot did not hesitate to choose the “best of the best”. And, this choice provided him with wealth and happiness – temporarily.

Winners and Losers

Abram’s response holds a lesson for us when we find ourselves in conflict with family members, friends or coworkers. Many people believe that negotiation must have a winner and a loser.

Abram didn’t see it that way. He found that he could solve the problem by giving up something — and ended up with a win-win situation.

Be a Problem Solver – Not a Problem Maker

Let’s remember Abram’s example next time we find ourselves in an awkward situation with family members, coworkers or business associates.

Sometimes, all it takes is a willingness to make the first move toward resolution by letting others win – or at least allowing them to save face.

It’s true that we may be cheated using this method of reasoning. But, many times we will find that our part of the bargain is very satisfactory, without going through the anguish of conflict.

Can you and I become problem solvers?  Here is a Story about Conflict at the Office

Yes, the office is a place for business. But, it also hosts a place where people:

  • meet other people,
  • interact, make friends,
  • and sometimes unfortunately make enemies.

Conflict IS Going to Happen

Office employees form a social group. And, in any social group, there is always the potential for conflict.

Conflicts related to business concerns are acceptable, as long as they remain professional disagreements. However, office conflicts caused by personality clashes, subgroup disagreements, or non-business-related differences can seriously hurt productivity, quality, and profitability.

That’s when social conflict requires management attention.

Competitive Spirit can Cause Problems

In offices with highly skilled employees, conflict often arises from competition. Many businesses encourage employees to compete.

Competition can increase productivity and quality by motivating employees.

One Conflict Resolution Method

When competition reduces employee esteem, or when it turns employees into ruthless enemies, then management simply needs to remove competition and encourage employees to work in a team environment.

Increasing worker interdependence often resolves office conflicts.

You should use competition to achieve your business objectives, but don’t overuse it.

How America was Built

The culture of capitalism promotes competition among businesses and individuals. This habit may rule the worker, who often sees himself as always competing with coworkers.

Many employees will resort to personal attacks when threatened by a competitive coworker.

Manager as Conflict Mediator

Whenever a manager perceives that this is the case, it is time to speak with the employee and guide them towards more mature behavior.

A manager must always be mindful of employee safety. If the employee’s attacks are malicious, it’s better to let the employee go than to have a conflict escalate into personal assaults.

Respect Rights

By cultivating respect among employees and demanding professionalism at all times, businesses can avoid office conflicts.

Providing a fair and effective hearing on all sides of an office conflict is a task for the human resources department of a business.

Be There For Them

It is important to have an open door policy that assures workers that no retaliation will be taken against them, either from their manager or their department, if they have conflicts with another employee.

Human resources should be trained to judge and resolve conflicts without politicizing them.

Write It Down

In addition to posting a code of conduct in the employee handbook, new employees should be informed of the code during orientations.

Be the Example – Not the Exception

Management can prevent many office conflicts by setting an example of respect and consideration for fellow workers.

Use this Bible Study Lesson about Abram & Lot for Conflict Resolution

Whenever you are facing a bad situation, whether at home, at work, or with friends at church, remember how Abram and Lot dealt with it.

Just Like Abram ( Abraham ) Make Your Conflict Win-Win

By losing, Abram was able to make a compromise that all were able to live with. Be guided by the wisdom of God and this Book of Genesis the next time you find yourself in a difficult situation.

Ultimately, God knows what is best for the situation.


Love in Christ

– Bob

If you would like to discover the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read through John 3:16 to find out more.

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