“How” Trumps “Where”

Abram lived in the land of Canaan, but Lot lived in the cities of the valley and set up his tent near Sodom. – Genesis 13:12

Over the past 40 years of marriage, my wife (Cindy) and I have lived in 27 different houses in 17 different towns in seven different states and three different countries. When asked why we have moved so much, I have often replied, “to avoid jury duty.” To be perfectly honest, we have at times felt like the post-exilic nation of Israel wandering in the wilderness and as we enter the beginning of our 41st year together, we are sincerely hoping that this is it! Heaven, next! Even so, in all of the moves we have made, there has been a clear sense or desire to please God … or at least to do the right thing. Even before I entered vocational ministry, these were common motivational purposes.

In Genesis 13 we read of Lot’s choice to “set up his tent near Sodom.” Was it a bad decision? Should he have surrendered his choice to his uncle Abram? Should he have checked out the area before he moved? Fact is, there is really no reason to assume that Lot’s motives were improper. He probably just wanted what he deemed best for his family’s future survival. The fact that he chose to live outside the city might speak to an understanding of what was inside, but more likely his family and possessions were simply just too immense. On the surface, given the circumstances, it did not appear unwise. But as it was, Lot’s choice proved to be a bad one and we may assume that he knew just how bad it was long before God rained fire down on the place.

Having lived (obviously) in a lot of different places, the takeaway for me is this: “How” you live is more important than “where” and no matter the location (or how many), you must simply choose to live everywhere in a way that honors God.

If you cannot get what you like, why not try to like what you get? – Unknown

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