Intro: Several years ago, John and I took a trip with our family to California. We flew into San Fransisco, rented an RV, and camped in Napa Valley, Tahoe, and Yosemite. Although once we started on the trip we had some concerns about the RV company, we did not have a clue just how corrupt it was until the end of the trip when they stole our sizable security deposit. Truly, it was despicable how they lied, cheated, and treated us.
The experience taught us a great deal about sinful human nature and what it felt like to do business with a company that has zero integrity and is driven by dishonesty and greed. It also taught us about sacrificial love; to accept the financial sacrifice, forgive them, and trust Jesus to use it for our good. The world may accept dishonest and corrupt people and companies, but Jesus does not and he will have the final say as the world’s Judge. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure since that time; so, that sacrifice was well worth it!
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul teaches about lawsuits that can arise between believers. We can all experience disagreements, but what should set Christ followers apart from the world’s system is that we have the wisdom of God to settle our disputes with love and integrity. We are not following Christ if we cheat others or do not fulfill our word or promise to them. We are disobedient to the integrity of God when we act like the world and live for self and money—which according to Scripture will fill the world in the last days (2 Tim 3:1-2). Our passage reminds us we may live in an unjust world, but we serve a just and righteous God who is not blind to how we—as his children—are treating one another or being treated by the world. Hold onto your Hope in Christ and live for the Kingdom!
1 Corinthians 6:1-9a NLT Avoiding Lawsuits with Christians
1 When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers! 2 Don’t you realize that someday we believers will judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide even these little things among yourselves? 3 Don’t you realize that we will judge angels? So you should surely be able to resolve ordinary disputes in this life. 4 If you have legal disputes about such matters, why go to outside judges who are not respected by the church? 5 I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues? 6 But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!
7 Even to have such lawsuits with one another is a defeat for you. Why not just accept the injustice and leave it at that? Why not let yourselves be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves are the ones who do wrong and cheat even your fellow believers.
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for using even the unjust things we suffer in life in a way that brings blessings back to us. Help us to always remember you are experientially molding us into your image. In Jesus’ name. Amen.