Thursday, August 18, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Thursday

Read: 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 and Psalm 138

St. Paul writes a scathing admonishment to those who sue other believers. We aren’t supposed to treat each other in a way that would cause us to want to go to court. But even if someone does mess up and treat us that way, we should go about fixing it in a Biblical way. It takes more maturity to do it that way, but we don’t need to be using the judicial system to iron out our differences. In Paul’s day, and even now, many people are hostile to Christianity. Why would we want them to judge between us if they don’t even like the way we choose to follow Jesus?

Jesus tells us how to handle such cases in Matthew 18:15-17. He tells us first to go to the person who has wronged us and try to work it out with them. If that doesn’t work, then take one or two with you and try again. If that still doesn’t work, take them before the rest of the church. If that fails, then the person at fault should be “as a heathen and tax collector”. In other words, they should not be allowed to be a member of the church or have any responsibility or power until they repent of their actions.

Have you ever sued another believer? Did you try resolving the conflict Jesus’ way? Note that no where does Jesus give us permission to gossip or feud. He expects us to work to resolve the issue, not prolong it. When someone has done us wrong, our first instinct is to get them back, and to talk about them, and fight with them. Even if they come to apologize, we often want to keep the war going.

Forgive. Jesus forgave you. He expects you to forgive others.

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