Post #3 "Should Believers Sue One Another?"
Should Believers SUE ?
I was recently asked if the Scripture, not to sue another believer, is applicable today. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He says, “If anyone wants to sue you, take your shirt and coat and give them both to him.” Paul says, if you have a dispute it is better to be defrauded than take the matter to court (See 1 Corinthians 6.1-8).
There are many reasons for lawsuits. Frankly, a lawsuit is most likely the result of someone violating Scripture in the first place. Maybe you lent money at interest to another believer. Possibly you overextended yourself, borrowed to invest, or any number of things Scripture tells you not to do. But mostly, when you get attached to material things and think this world is your eternal nest, you end up trying to protect your worldly interests. As a result, you think, "if someone wrongs me, or takes my money, I need to protect my money. "
As you subscribers known, the whole thesis of what I teach is,
It is not your money, it is God’s Money.
Indeed, all we have is a gift from God. Nothing more, nothing less. I love the way Paul puts it to the Corinthians.
“All things are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. Let every person regard you as a servant of Christ and steward of the mysteries of God.”
A steward is responsible for caring for the worldly affairs of the lord of the estate, but owns nothing of it, himself. If someone defrauds a steward, it is not the steward who pursues the fraud, it is the steward’s lord who will decide whether to pursue the culprit or merely forgive him. Either way, it is the steward’s job to report the incident to the master of the house, i.e., his lord (small “i”), and let his master decide how to pursue the matter. The problem is when you think you are the lord of the house, and not a steward working for that lord, you suffer from what I like to refer to as “misplaced ownership”.
Remember what the Scripture says,
“Vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay.”
Let God be God, and you the faithful steward of the Lord (Big “L”). Giving the matter to God is by far the best option, for it is better to be defrauded than to suffer all the angst of a lawsuit.
Furthermore, Paul, writing to these same Corinthians, went on to say believers are new creations with a new ministry of reconciliation. Even though you may avoid a lawsuit, there is still the matter of unresolved conflict, which is more important than financial resolution.
The Bible says if you have a conflict with someone go and meet with them privately, and attempt to resolve it together. If the other person is unresponsive, take one or two others with you, and speak to the person again. If the person still does not listen, seek resolution from the body of believers.
If that does not work, walk away.
It isn't easy, but there is help! In Montana, there is a ministry called Peacemakers. Peacemakers mission is “to equip and assist believers to respond to conflict Biblically.” You should check out their website.
If you have an unresolved conflict, get it resolved. If you need help, use the formula I laid out above. If you cannot work it out yourself, contact Peacemakers and ask them to help. Nevertheless, do not forget you are a steward of God’s Money. You do not “own’ what you have, you are merely managing those assets on God’s behalf.
See you again soon!
Donald F. White
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