Monday, 23 June 2014
Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 1 Corinthians 6:7
“Utter failure” is well translated here. Paul is telling those in Corinth that their lawsuits against one another demonstrate that they have missed the mark in Christian fellowship and in maintaining a sense of fraternity within the faith. It is true that when one sues another, it is generally because a wrong has been committed. Suppose someone lends $5000 to another believer. When it isn’t paid back, the normal and expected course of action would be to go to them and attempt to get the money back. When that fails, a suit might be the next logical step to follow.
However, Paul is saying that doing this is contrary to what should be expected of a Christian, especially if the suit is conducted in non-Christian mediation. Paul says that instead, “Why do you not rather accept wrong?” And then to further that word, he repeats the thought to confirm what he meant – “Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?” It seems contrary to the normal order of business because it is contrary to the normal order of business. Something more noble is expected of those within the faith.
We may suffer from being cheated, but God is not unaware of it. Our faithfulness to His precept will be rewarded in due time. He will handle all wrongs and correct all offenses, either in this life or in the true life which is to come, but He is asking us to stand on the principles He has laid down.
Having noted this, the passage makes no commentary on interactions with non-believers, governmental agencies, corporations, or the like. When harm is suffered at the hands of a non-believer, there are venues for handling such things.
Life application: How difficult it can be to set aside grievances that have been levied against us by other believers. But how much more satisfying should it be to know that we are following the wishes of the Lord by doing so! Let us stand firmly on God’s word and not be weakened in our determination to be obedient to the knowledge we possess; mixing in practice to what we have learned.
Lord, my brother has offended me
But You have said that I should let it go
Is it not better that I be wronged
Than to take him to court for all the world to know?
Surely the offense has me upset as You can see
But in the end Your word is my rule and guide
Should I consider my offence more important?
Should I so lift myself up and be filled with pride
Rather, I will stand upon my guide, Your written word
And thus be obedient to You, my precious Lord
Lord God, you know those who are counted as brothers in the faith who have offended me in one way or another, but Your word has asked me to consider my position in You as more important than the loss I have suffered. Help me to put Your word into practice and to allow You to handle the matter in Your wise way. I know that what You will decide will be perfectly just and so why should I worry? I place such things in Your capable hands. Amen.