1Co 6:7-8  “Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.”

There is a great fault among us when we are willing to expose our brother before unbelievers. The word fault denotes a weakness or diminishing. We are less than we ought to be when we would use the law against a brother. This is not what I think: it is what the scripture says.

To desire to expose our brother to the judgment of the law on any level indicates that we have forgotten the manner of man we are. We have lost sight of the depth of our own sinful nature. It is an evidence of a lack of charity, and Paul advised that even if we spoke with the tongues of angels and lacked charity it became an empty noise void of meaning (1Co 13:1).

The lesson here comes back to the principle of treating others as we would want to be treated (Mat 7:12). According to the words of Jesus, this is even the principle of the law and the prophets. If you do not want to be judged before the law, do not insist on judging your brother before the law. The life of a believer in Jesus Christ should never be about “getting even.”

According to Paul, there is a failing in us when we would rather take our brother to judgment than to suffer whatever wrong he has done to us. This is obviously not according to our human nature. Therefore, this must be the exercising of the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16). Our Lord and Master is the end of the law for righteousness (Rom 10:4).

The matter is made very plain and simple. If we are not willing to endure being defrauded by a brother rather than take the matter before unbelievers, we do wrong. This does not excuse the wrong done to us: the matter should be heard by a wise brother (1Co 6:4-5). If the brother who has defrauded us will not here wise and godly counsel, then walk away and trust God to deal with the matter.

One thing is clear in these verses of scripture. We do not correct a wrong done to us by doing a wrong. It is not showing charity to our brother or love for the church of Jesus Christ to go to law before unbelievers. Most of us probably know of at least one situation where brethren became divided and one faction hauled the other into court. Of the cases that I know of personally, even if one party “won” its case in court, the church suffered as a result.

May God give us the grace to understand the principle of turning the other cheek and walking humbly with our Lord!

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