Overlooking a Fault

“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!” 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.

We became Christians because we believed the good news that God was no longer holding our sins against us because of what Jesus did on the cross (2 Corinthians 5:19). What we sometimes forget is that He also did that for everyone else. So, holding grievances against one another violates the very thing we want for ourselves. And it is compounded when we demonstrate before the world, who we are trying to reach with this good news, sees that we don’t apply the same good news to others. Or at least we do so selectively.

This is hard to overcome because we want justice. God wants justice, too. It’s the reason Christ had to die for our sins; the just dying for the unjust. God’s claims of justice against us had to be satisfied, and our suffering leaves Him unsatisfied because He loves us and wants peace and intimate friendship with us. So Jesus willingly suffered our punishment to get that.

So Paul asks us why we wouldn’t rather willingly suffer to do the same thing for our brother. Do we really want to defeat our brother to satisfy our claim? Is the Gospel just a “get out of jail free card” for you, but not for him? Or is it the central organizing principle of our lives, and do we do this so the world knows that we love one another?

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