Making wise choices is paramount to a good and godly life
Then Abram said to Lot … “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.” And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord … So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley … (Genesis 13:8–11)
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” “If one of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” “My goal is for you to become a productive member of society!”
In our home these phrases became family expressions meant to motivate our children. Truth be told, the statements brought more rolling of the eyes than motivation. From the time the children were toddlers, another common household phrase was: “You win or lose by the way you choose.” Of all our family expressions, I hope this is the one passed to the next generation. Making wise choices is paramount to a good and godly life.
At this point in the journey, Abraham and his nephew Lot had become wealthy men. As they settled back at Bethel in Canaan again, they found that there was not enough room for them both.1 There was not enough water and pasture land there for all the livestock they had accumulated, and Abraham’s people and Lot’s people began to quarrel. Someone had to go.
Abraham took the high road by giving Lot the option to take the land he wanted. The anxious and self-preserving Abraham who fled to Egypt in a panic is not the Abraham pictured in this scene. Here we see a calm and generous figure who chooses to renounce his option as the leader and elder and give his nephew first choice of the land.2
So Lot chooses, based on the beautiful land he sees.3 His choice does not make me a fan of Lot. Then I consider my own history of “poor, self-centered, hide-the-biggest piece, take-the-best-place, and sneak-the-extra-portion” choices—and Lot starts sounding more like a kindred spirit!
A choice may not seem important at the time it is made, but it can set the course for life.4
What are some things to take into account that will help you make wise choices?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, give me a heart of wisdom, a heart that is willing to obey you. Help me to make wise choices. Amen.
1 John H. Walton, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 424.
2 Claus Westermann, Continental Commentary, Genesis 12-36 (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1995), 181.
3 Ibid, 177.
4 Bob Deffenbaugh, “Lot Looks Out for Number One (Genesis 13:5-18).” https://bible.org/seriespage/lot-looks-out-number-one-genesis-135-18 (accessed January 5, 2014).