About a year ago, a friend of mine told me that she hoped she didn’t meet her husband because of causing her a lot of pain. He was very neglectful. So, when push comes to shove, she took the case to the court but since she wasn’t financially secured and her husband’s family was well-off, she lost the lawsuit more than a couple of times. She just couldn’t afford to pay for a good lawyer. Paul’s words to the Corinthian community about administration of justice is never new to us living in the modern age in which social status played a major factor in civil magistrates.
Paul was tough on the Corinthians’ saying that bringing disputes in the community before secular jurisdiction was unbecoming of Christians. The scandals in the community should not be made known to those who do not belong in the inner circles. At issue was the community’s identity that they were God’s chosen, baptized and holy people. It was a failure on their part to maintain identity and integrity as God’s people. Thereupon, they had to put boundaries. Paul also suggested that Christians should settle disputes among themselves. Or better yet, Christians should not even have disputes of such natures to be brought to civil litigation. He basically was saying that he didn’t trust the civil magistrates since for him, they were not wise enough to make good decisions. Amen.
Paul said that it was preferable to be wronged and to suffer loss than to appeal to courts. For him, it was alright to put up with those situations. There was nothing to be ashamed. It was never a disgrace to be wronged. Doing wrong is worse. Sensible person won’t go to law or bring indictments. It was totally incompatible with the call to proclaim the kingdom of God and performing unacceptable forms of behavior. Once baptized, they should never turn to the old ways of life. Before the end, he had once again a rehearsal of vices, a laundry list of vices. It was an invitation to look at our lives and claim once again identity as God’s holy precious people and live accordingly. Amen.