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: 1-7
Even if you’ve never watched any of the “reality courtroom” shows, you are probably familiar with the setup – two people stand before a “judge” and argue some small claims kind of dispute between the parties. It sounds ridiculous, but people will gladly watch, right?
Why is it that we struggle to get along with others – even those in our own family? How many families have been torn apart over the estate of a loved one? What about our churches? How many people are at odds with one another in a setting that is supposed to be marked by love for one another?
The church at Corinth was divided at many levels. People within the church sued one another. Maybe it was trivial. Maybe not, but the very act of filing a lawsuit was, at the very least, a source of embarrassment.
How can the people in the church expect to win over outsiders if their behavior is less than Christ-like? According to Paul, it would be better to yield to another and lose than insisting on having your own way -“Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?”
The note in my study Bible includes this comment – “Disputes between believers need to be handled with the utmost care: in a wise and godly manner before the watching world.” Is there a conflict between you and another follower of Christ? How would this passage affect the way you might handle the conflict?