Un-righted Wrongs: Revenge is Not Yours

1 Corinthians 6:1-7 NJJV
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! 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?

One of the most difficult things for me to do in life is to let a wrong go un-righted. And yet, there is a very strong admonition here for Christians to either keep disputes “in house,” so to speak, (within the Church) or to allow other Christians to have their way, trusting God to make things right.

David Stern, in the Jewish New Testament Commentary, states:
“Verses 1–8 clearly forbid lawsuits between believers in secular courts. Although embarrassment at airing dirty laundry before pagan judges is a reason (v. 6, 10:32), one which Christians share with Jews (“What will the Gentiles think?”), there should be greater embarrassment at the failure of the Messianic community to function as it should (vv. 2–8). Also, those who are not God’s people and therefore lack the Holy Spirit are incompetent to apply believers’ principles properly.”

In John 13:35, our Lord Jesus tells us that “all” (including the world) will know that we are Christians if we have love for one another. By going to court, particularly to a secular court, we are not showing love, but rather animosity toward one another; we are saying that it’s better if “I” win than if I love.

There isn’t room in this scripture for debate or going outside of this admonition. Paul is clear: “it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another.” As Christians, our responsibility is to trust the Lord, even when we are being cheated by another Christian, to back away and allow the Lord to deal with them as He sees fit.