The issue of lawsuits isn’t exactly the most devotional of topics and yet, as I read the chapter, I kept coming back to that section.
I live in a litigious society and one that honors and defends the right of the individual. I am glad for these rights. There is a tremendous amount of freedom in my country because individual rights are honored. I have a right to my day in court.
This said, Paul’s words cause me to take a step back. His first paragraph offers a deep concern that Corinthians are taking one another to court… in our language they are suing one another. Paul is appalled.
The context is one Christian suing another Christian, one church member suing another. The issues is NOT problems between a believer and a non-believers or corporation.
The major element of his words comes in verse 7: The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
These words sting. … Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? Wow. How important is body life? How important is the reputation of the church in the public eye?
The, “but I have my rights” part of me flares up at Paul (and God). And I have to check my spirit… God is it more important to me to assert my rights than to accept a wrong and simply move on?
At this point everything is hypothetical… and some issues I consider are much more significant than others.
My natural instinct is to assert my rights… that’s what Americans do, right!?!
But the nudge inside of me is that God might expect me to act differently…
This exposes me… my natural inclination is to stand up for myself, not accept a wrong for the sake of the body. I still have a great need to grow in faith and trust and obedience.
Lord, I don’t have any immediate need to sue someone. But my reaction to the counsel of Your Word shows me that I have much growth still. Help me to take the servant stance that Jesus took. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.