“Therefore, to have legal disputes against one another is already a moral failure for you. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather be cheated?”
In Corinth there were Christians going to the Roman authorities to settle disputes. This has to be rather awkward because if these Christians were in the same assembly (houses) they would have to see each other rather intimately. Sometimes you wish you were a fly on the wall to these early believers, but then again we only need to be a fly in our own homes.
I often wonder if other members move Christians who are deciding to split away from moralism towards a Christ centered approach to work out disputes. When I see Christians who split over irreconcilable differences I am often left scratching my head. Not because I don’t think things fall apart. But I wonder how they continue to interact with other believers under the umbrella of grace but not with their one flesh.
To get more pragmatic. Divorce is an ugly stain on the Gospel of Christ. Much like these lawsuits that Paul rebukes the Corinthian believers for, we should be rebuking divorcing Christians with the same veracity! For two believers who promise to love one another, even more so than your brothers in sisters in Christ, to go before unbelieving lawyers, judges and arbitrators to settle disputes is ungodly! Yes ungodly! They fight over property, lie, fight for custody of the children, hide assets, try to protect assets, and pray they win to a God who hates it all.
Paul asked “why not be wronged”. Even if you have a non-believe spouse and they decide to leave. Paul asks “why not be wronged”. But for believing couples, how do we refuse to extend grace, yet expect it when we go to our knees. How do we willfully disobey the command to forgive, to be kind, gentle, patience, long-suffering…..sing all those good songs, hear all those good sermons, then turn to nonbelievers to settle disputes the Church should be able to handle.
Why the congregation is not more tough on this is also beyond me. We are tough when adultery happens (though droves of Christians divorce and remarry without any conviction). Why pastors don’t challenge their congregation in this area is also beyond me. We have more divorce care than we have divorce prevention.
Anyway….why not be defrauded, what is it that couples who are in Christ can’t settle amongst other believers? The only thing I can say is they prefer disobedience of Christian submission.