I’ll never forget when I read this passage. I had been a very successful paralegal at my law firm for years. Now I felt like I had gotten punched in the gut! I struggled with this only because handling lawsuits was my profession for nearly 30 years. But then I realized this passage wasn’t meant as an indictment on the legal system, it was only addressing Christians suing other Christians.
We’re supposed to avoid that behavior, and I am in total agreement with Paul. You can’t imagine all of the things I have seen, broken relationships, penniless victims, crooked judges, deception, lies, etc. How could that NOT be a bad thing!
If only the world was made up of all believers. Then, such wise direction would be a lot easier. I do agree that the first step should always be seeking counsel. For believers, we go to God’s word to see what it says there, and then we go to a trusted Christian friend to bounce ideas there. God will reveal himself and his desire. We trust that as believers.
So, what happens when that trust wavers? What happens when we feel wronged and abused? Shouldn’t we want to make things right? I would think Paul would say, “Yes. Try to make things right, but let’s talk it out with some Christian brothers first. Mediation is suggested here, and that can be so beneficial. At the time I retired almost six years ago, there were already an abundance of cases, more than the docket calendars could handle.
Not enough Christ followers have read and internalized this passage. If they have, I hope they have followed the wisdom and sought help and guidance first. It just feels like the right to do.
“Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you.” I have seen firsthand how lawsuits drain a person emotionally and financially. Paul suggests there is a better way than to suffer such defeat. Even if you “win” you don’t really win because you have lost a little bit of yourself to fight the legal battle.
What struck you? Have you ever been sued and brought to court? By another believer? Let the wisdom Paul is sharing with the Corinthians sit with you and direct your path.
Let’s pray …
Father God, thank you that I can call myself a forgiven sinner. While I enjoyed the positive side of my career, helping people through a difficult time in life, I understand how as Christians, avoiding lawsuits with other believers is the better solution. Help me to provide wise counsel when asked by people looking for my advice. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.