The people of Corinth had a little problem. A big problem actually. They were a bit sue-happy. Apparently, it’s not just an American thing.
Paul calls them out on it in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8.
His phrasing is interesting.
He asks, “why are you rushing off to court? Don’t you know you will judge angels?”
It’s a fascinating concept.
He essentially challenges them to see that they have the power amongst themselves to settle, to make peace. After all, if the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) can’t get it together, what hope do the rest of us have?
Jesus echoes this challenge. (Matthew 18:15-17)
We’re so quick to rush off to the highest court, but in doing so we make a fool of ourselves. Both Jesus and Paul believe we can work this out. Do we have that same faith in ourselves?
Yes, there are times we must appeal to that highest court. Job, for example, saw no justice here on Earth and cried out for God to judge him. (Job 9:32-35) Paul sought after the court of Ceaser, he would not settle out in lower court. (Acts 25)
In those cases, both of them saw their day, but most of the time we make a fool of ourselves rushing into matters we do not know. The world sees Christians bickering and fighting and says to themselves, “who wants to be part of that?” What is worse, Paul reminds us that many times we demand judgment but end up paying out the nose for it. The defendant counter-sues and in fact has a stronger case and soon we are in a mess of trouble.
It’s like that with God’s justice. We are judged by God according to how we judge others. (Matthew 7:2) We are forgiven by God based on how we love others. (Matthew 6:14) So, the next time you’re hot to see justice served, check yourself. You just might find that you are the one needing to be the one make amends.