More and more people today work on the principle that you have to look out for yourself in this life. If you don’t look out for ‘number one’ nobody else will. Abraham was not of that mind. When his herdsmen and those of his nephew, Lot, quarrelled over grazing rights for their flocks, Abraham allowed Lot to take his choice of the land. Naturally, Lot chose the richer portion of land. He seemed to have got the better of the deal, but God had other, greater plans for Abraham.
Abraham’s actions were in accord with the principle taught by Our Lord in the gospel today, what has come to be known as The Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you would have them treat you.” Not many people are really willing to follow that principle today. And it’s no surprise. Practically everything in our society nowadays is based on the idea that you do indeed have to look out for yourself. It’s considered by many to be weak and foolish not to be assertive, not to stick up for your rights, and to let someone take advantage of you.
Sin makes us selfish, turning the focus of life upon ourselves. Our Lord, in a way, admits that orientation within us, but then he urges us to turn it around. He tells us that our inclination to want the best for ourselves, to seek our own convenience, is to be used as an indication of how we should treat others. We should give to them what we most want for ourselves.
In following this Golden Rule we will be considered foolish by many. But the story of Abraham illustrates for us that God takes care of those who are generous and unselfish. God grants to us even more than we give away.