Everyone one of us has been wronged by another person. What do you do when you’ve been wronged? Do you seek revenge? Do you file a lawsuit and take them to court? Or do you just isolate yourself and sulk? How you process through your hurt will dictate your future.
When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Quick to Sue
There are so many people who are easily offended. The Greek word for offense is scandalon, from which we get our word scandal. Originally the word was used to refer to the bait used to snare a wild animal. Paul uses it to refer to anything that hinders our walk with God. People get so offended that they want to take a fellow Christian to court. We threaten people who don’t do what we want them to do with lawsuits. We are quick to sue people with the hope that the financial gain will make us set for life. Parents go to court to fight over the custody of their children. Paul puts his foot down and tells the Corinthians that is not the way it is supposed to be in the church. Apparently, this has become a problem in the Corinthian church, and Paul wants the leadership to handle things differently. We need to take it to the Elders of the church before we go to court. When we do go to court, it is already a defeat for the church and us because it destroys our witness.
How do you handle it when you’ve been wronged by another Christian? Paul tells us to take a different path; suffer the wrong and move on. Has someone stolen from you? Count it as a loss and move on. Don’t return a wrong with a wrong. Don’t be guilty of the very offense that was done to you. Forgive the person and focus on what is important. These skirmishes can consume our lives and take our minds where they don’t need to go. Let’s live a righteous life and prepare for eternity.