You watch and read about it regularly on your television, newspaper and informational websites – our world is becoming more and more foolish! You can see it in the words and actions of others. People are establishing themselves as “gods” of information and justice, very much like the comment David makes in Ps. 14:1, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” The fool might not say those exact words, of course, but by that sentiment is expressed by his decisions, words and actions.
Armed with even a small amount of information, people become reporter, district attorney, jury and judge – all in a matter of minutes! They often establish their own conclusions based on the evidence they have instead of seeking out the “whole story” and allowing the judicial system (the best in the world!) to run its course. St. Louis, Missouri is a recent example. I grieve over Michael Brown’s death, especially for his mother. Scripture records that God has no pleasure in the death of any person (Ezek. 18:32). As I write this, there are death threats made against the police without the judicial process having begun. The same thing has happened in many similar cases.
Yet, this behavior is not uncommon in the church. Paul wrote two letters to the Corinthians, who were a new, immature group of Christians living amid an immoral community. They were quick to judge and act. Wanting their way, they believed that their investigations gave them enough facts to justify immediate actions rather than waiting on the church’s process of handling the matter at hand. Paul wrote,
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! 7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? (1 Cor. 6:1-7 NKJ)
This is a difficult passage. Paul sternly rebuked them for going to the world’s system instead of waiting on the church’s judicial process. Christians were using the foolishness of the world’s system as the basis for their actions, rather than waiting on the Lord to work through leadership in the church. They went to earthly law because they had their minds made up and wanted their way.
I love Paul’s comments, “…it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?” I understand the desire to be proven correct?) But do I commit a wrong among my local body of believers by pushing for “my” right? Do I really think I’m on a level equal with God that ensures my right will achieved? Has God fallen off of His throne or so busy that He does not notice and is, therefore, not able to accomplish His will?
Imagine if Jesus pursued His right to be treated with honor and respect during His earthly ministry! There would have been no salvation. I know I will never fully understand the depth of what He did for me on the cross this side of eternity.
The point is that there is one God – the Lord Jesus – whom we serve. He is the Master. He knows everything that happens. If you are in law enforcement, then follow all the laws and bring criminals to justice. If you are not in law enforcement or involved with the judicial system, then submit yourself to governing authorities (1 Pet. 2:13-17; Rom. 13:1-7). If the governing authorities over step the constitution, then pray before you act and be sure you understand your words and actions when judging others.
As you pursue the Lord Jesus, rejoice that He is God and therefore knows all things. Rejoice that He has placed you in a nation with a constitution unmatched by any other country. Rejoice in the process of coming alongside others to help them understand and follow the judicial system. Rejoice as you wait upon the Lord for that process, because in the church you may not see justice come to pass (as many of the Hebrews 11 heroes of faith did not), but you can build up the brethren and leadership to make a dynamic body growing in the Lord Jesus. Is it better to get your way now, or ensure that the body is growing even if you are cheated? Paul clearly explained that a growing body is more important!
And rejoice that there is one God and you are not Him!